The incident happened on May 11 outside the Knezev Dvor, the 15th-century Rector's Palace whose atrium is often used for performances. The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kristijan Rista Savic of Wiesbaden, Germany, was playing for about 235 guests, when Marko Vuletic, a city councilor for the HSP (Croatian Party of Rights, a nationalist party), and two unidentified accomplices tried to enter the palace and stop the concert.
The orchestra's manager, Pero Sisa, 51, stopped the three men, whereupon Vuletic allegedly grabbed Sisa by the throat.
"I have a concussion, contusion of nose and gums, and I am as blue as the sea," Sisa told Javno. "First he strangled me for a while, but since I am big, he was not successful, so he head-butted me and I passed out."
The attack was reportedly prompted by what Vuletic claimed was Rista Savic's Serbian ethnicity.
"For starters, I don't count people's blood cells," Sisa told Javno about the engagement of Rista Savic, "and the gentleman has been a German citizen for 40 years already. He is an excellent artist who has accomplished a lot and should have done even more for this orchestra. I lived through the war years too and I will neither forget nor forgive the war [following the breakup of Yugolsavia], but this has nothing to do with it."
After the incident, the conductor left Dubrovnik and ended his relationship with the orchestra.
For his part, the 47-year-old Vuletic told Javno.com, "I did not hit anybody or do anything to anyone ... I am pressing civil charges against Mr. Sisa."