The second, Social Center Rog, also contains a shitload of art and -- bonus! -- a giant skate park.
No one built it. It just sort of appeared.
Why doesn't the government just come and tear it down? They totally tried.
Metelkova was built over the rotten corpse of an old Yugoslavian military base. As the military pulled out, the area was promised to local artists as a work space by the government. But the government almost immediately decided "fuck that" in lieu of bulldozing the whole thing and selling the land to developers. One of our sources for the article, Natasha, was there when the demolition started. "They brought all these machines, wrecking balls as well ... but by coincidence, someone passed by, saw what was happening, and informed all the other members. People gathered and decided to attack to protect the buildings."
This "attack" took the form of dozens of artists rushing the demolition site and setting up in buildings as they were being torn down. The basic logic was, the government probably won't kill us all for this land. The squatters erected barricades to keep the government out (which obviously wouldn't hold them off for long) and started covering everything with art. "Artists just gathered and started gluing ceramic tiles on the wall. The purpose was to protect the building with art ... then maybe they won't demolish it."
"After all, you never see them bulldoze a spraypainted building, right? Right?!"