The real story of Jim Morrison’s bust
by Michelle Campbell
The dead rockedOn Friday, January 27, 2012, the dead were royally rocked in Zagreb, Croatia. There were two events at the Zagreb City Museum that were linked by one of rock music’s premier figures, Jim Morrison, of The Doors. In the museum was an exhibit about Zagreb cemeteries and funerals called “Mors Porta Vitae—Death The Gate of Life”, which strangely included a beautiful plaster bust of Jim Morrison. There was also another event as part of Croatia’s “Night of Museums” that relates to rock music history. It was celebrating and announcing the release of a photo-monograph telling the story of the famous bust that used to decorate Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris.
The portraitist of Jim Morrison
While all Doors fans have at least seen photographs of the incredible white bust before it was stolen, most people don’t know it was the work of a Croatian sculptor, Mladen Mikulin. Indeed, the artist modestly insisted on putting it on the grave unsigned. The photo-monograph was published to mark the 40th anniversary of Morrison’s passing through the gate of death, and is titled, “Mladen Mikulin, The Portraitist of Jim Morrison”. It details, in Croatian and English, all the personal and administrative procedures that Mikulin went through to realize his dream of placing his bust on the grave.