Ignác Lamár, known as Schoner Naci, became famous due to his fondness for walking through the streets of Bratislava in an elegant suit, velvet tailcoat, and top hat. Lamár would bow in front of ladies, present them with flowers and sing to them. He would greet them in three different languages; German, Slovak, and Hungarian saying “I kiss your hand.” The statue is another of the quirky characters memorialized in Bratislava when the local town government decided to throw off their somewhat austere and Communist identity and make the city a fun place to live and visit. But the broadly smiling statue actually hides a sad story.
Lamár was the son of a shoemaker and the grandson of a famous clown. He was a poor man but it is said he was much loved by the locals for his kindness and desire to bring happiness to the town the way his grandfather once did. Local restaurants and coffee shops would feed him, while locals would employ him to clean to earn money. He sadly passed away of tuberculosis in 1967.
Schoner Naci was created by the sculptor Juraj Melis in 1997. The statue was unveiled when the pedestrian zone around the Old Town square was reopened on June 16 of that same year.