Hvar Mayor Invites Zuckerberg, Offers to Rename Island 'Facebook'
In a bid to boost tourism, the mayor of Hvar Town invites Mark Zuckerberg to Croatia and offers to rename one of the Pakleni Islands 'Facebook.'
An unusual invitation from Croatia arrived on the desk of Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg on April 23 2011, according to reports in the Croatian media, as the Mayor of Hvar Town, Perino Bebic, invited Zuckerberg to Hvar and offered to rename an island after the social networking giant.
Invitation to Croatia and an Island Named Facebook
"We sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg telling him that we want to do something to honour his social network," Bebic told Croatian daily, 24 Sata. "We have invited the founder of Facebook to Hvar this summer, which has incredible natural and cultural beauty. We will know more when he responds, which we hope will be soon."
Should Zuckerberg accept the invitation, the paper speculates that one of the Pakleni Islands, which sit as enticing tiny emeralds in turquoise water in front of Hvar Town, will be renamed Facebook. The island in question, Veli Vodnjak, is just 0.245 square kilometres and has a lighthouse, a symbol of connectivity.
Hvar Island: Playground of the Mega-rich
If the Facebook founder does come to Hvar, he would find himself in distinguished and wealthy company as the island's marinas are used to hosting the large yachts of the mega-rich, including Microsoft owner Bill Gates, Formula One supremo and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Hvar has been voted among the world's most beautiful islands by readers of Conde Nast and also made the Forbes' list of World's Sexiest Islands.
The Pakleni Islands are a particularly attractive spot on Croatia's stunning coastline, and offer privacy and tranquility in their pine forests and hidden coves. They can be reached by short water taxi from Hvar Town, although there is also a marina. One of the islands, Jerolim, is a haven for naturists - an important component of tourism in Croatia - and the island was given over to naturists in the 1960s.
A Girl Named Facebook and a Mountain Named Santa Claus
With 30% of Croats on Facebook, it is hoped that the move would appeal to the younger generation. It is not the first time that the use of the social network has appeared in the news with regard to names. An Egyptian father, Gamal Ibrahim, named his daughter Facebook in February, in honour of the part played by the company's social network in removing President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Using a popular brand to promote tourism is also not without precedent. One of the more curious examples in recent times occurred in the tiny former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan in 2007, when one of the country's main peaks was renamed Santa Claus Mountain, following a study by a Swedish logistics company which concluded that Kyrgyzstan would be the most central part of the world for Santa to be based for deliveries.