Oblivious to those around him, Mladen Mitic carefully adjusts the large triangular sail on the scale model of a wooden Galija and aligns the numerous oars on each side of the boat. Born in Dubrovnik, the heart of a highly developed shipbuilding, Mladen has loved the sea and ships since he was a young lad. It was a natural progression that on finishing at school, that he studied engineering in the town's maritime college.
Mladen found himself fascinated by the history of the many different ships built in the shipyards of Dubrovnik and more than 30 years ago he began modelling ships. He founded – and is still an active member- of Argosy Ship Modeller Society and for the past eight years he has managed the ship modelling workshops at the town's Youth Home. With great pride, Mladen describes how his students regularly win at the Croatian Youth Home competitions.
Mladen's work has been regularly exhibited for others to enjoy and since 1997, his models have been displayed at Croatia's Expo Rijeka. He has participated in world exhibitions at Gdansk (1998) and Mons(2002) as well as the European Expo held in Barcelona in 1999.
Mladen's highly detailed models were an integral part of the Croatian Pavilion in the Expo 2000 in Lisbon. The following year, there was a large exhibition in Vancouver entitled 'Croatian Shipbuilding Heritage' and Mladen's fascinating models played an important role.
To date, Mladen has also had three very popular solo exhibitions that have been held under the auspices of UNESCO and he has won many awards for his stunning work.
Mladen's love of beautiful historic ships is shared by many, so not surprisingly, his models can be found in many private collections across the world. It was a particularly proud moment for him when his model of an elegant Dubrovnik galea was presented to Pope John Paul II as a very special gift from the Government of the Republic of Croatia.