(Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL) (Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL)

Despite epidemiological measures, hundreds of mourners paid their final respects to the six-term mayor who oversaw the city for the past 20 years.

Acting Mayor Jelena Pavičić Vukičević said that the nation had lost a great politician and humanist who had left an indelible mark on the present and future of Zagreb.

"We are saying goodbye to a great man, a true patriot and a political visionary, one of the greatest mayors of Zagreb who dedicated his life to public service, most of all to ordinary people. We are saying goodbye to a humanist and a fighter for policies devoid of hypocrisy and ideology, for equal rights and opportunity for all. We are saying goodbye to a political leader and the longest-serving mayor of Zagreb who changed the cityscape by turning it into a true European metropolis," said the acting mayor.

Longtime friend Ljubo Jurčić said Bandić had given more to the city "than anyone else will probably ever give".

"He worked for Zagreb until the very end. He sought and demanded the very best for this city. His pure soul and heart will remain with us forever. This kind of purity is rare but always in need - perhaps it is even more necessary today than yesterday," said Jurčić.

Along with the late mayor's family, friends, and close associates, the funeral was attended by senior state officials, including Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, Veterans Minister Tomo Medved, and Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman.

Source: HRT