It is well known how much the people of Sarajevo, as well as other residents of the then Yugoslavia, gave for the organization of the Winter Olympic Games in 1984, but the story of the goldsmith from Baščaršija, whose donation was a record, is particularly interesting.
Although the main financiers of the Olympic Games in Sarajevo were certainly foreign sponsors, in the first place the TV rights bought by ABC, as well as Coca-Cola and Mitsuhbishi, were also supported by domestic partners, 218 of them.
Domestic sponsors brought 1.4 billion dinars, but there were also personal donations and a lot of them.
All citizens of Sarajevo allocated 2.5 percent of their income in the period from 1981 to 1985. In this way, about three billion dinars were collected, which the Guard used for the Olympic Games.
In addition, thousands of ordinary citizens of the former Yugoslavia donated their funds, both in money and gifts, as well as over three thousand various trade unions.
Probably the most famous donation was the kilogram of gold donated by Sarajevo goldsmith Fuad Kasumagić. For more than two decades, he collected gold dust by cleaning his floor and filters, after which he burned them and turned them into ash. By 1982, he had collected about 600 kilograms of ash, which he burned again using high temperatures to extract the gold.
In the end, he set aside a kilogram of 24-carat gold, which at the time was worth 14,000 dollars, roughly five times more than what the average Yugoslav earned in a year.
Today, one kilogram of gold costs approximately 65 thousand dollars (60 thousand euros).
Kasumagić then called that donation a “modest contribution”.
“I wanted to do something to help the Olympics. I wanted to contribute to the success of the games,” said Kasumagić at the time.
An emigrant from Bosnia and Herzegovina who lived in America donated his coin collection, and Yugoslav workers who worked in France organized dinners and raffles to raise money.
The Committee for the Organization of the Olympic Games in Sarajevo later announced that over 1.2 million Yugoslavs donated money for the Olympic Games in some way, through taxes or personal donations such as Kasumagić’s goldsmith shop, Klix.ba writes.