New Statue Complex Honours Macedonian Heroes


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

A newly unveiled complex of statues dedicated to unknown Macedonian heroes is the latest addition to the massive government sponsored revamp of the capital known as Skopje 2014.

The massive marble and bronze complex placed in a park opposite parliament has already attracted many onlookers, although the official opening ceremony is not till September 8, Macedonian Independence Day.


The complex consists of three segments, the first representing the world of the living, the second forming a symbolic passage, and the third symbolizing eternity and the world of the gods.

The first segment is conceived as an agora – a central meeting place dominated by a fountain and a bronze statue of Prometheus, the mythological hero who brought fire to the people, suffering punishment from the gods in consequence.

According to the author’s concept, Prometheus therefore symbolizes heroic sacrifice.

The second part is a symbolic doorway to eternity. On top, four bronze horses salute the heroes. The Latin words for immortality, freedom and justice are inscribed on the doorway.

The third segment is a colonnade of marble pillars around a central pedestal that is over 20 meters high. A winged goddess symbolizing victory rests on top of the tall pedestal, while in front is a place for an eternal flame.

The construction of the latest addition to the Skopje 2014 project did not go without controversy.

In May, the municipal authorities suddenly arranged for the statue of the naked Prometheus to be covered, following complaints from unidentified “women’s organizations”.

A bronze loin cloth was soon welded to the statue’s private parts, prompting ridicule and talk of hypocrisy.

Looking at the complex close up, local linguists have meanwhile noticed that the word for justice is misspelled “Justicia” instead of “Justitia”.

So far the authorities have not revealed the price tag of the project,or commented on the spelling error.

The monument forms part of the government-funded “Skopje 2014” project aimed at beautifying the Macedonian capital.

While the centre-right government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has staunchly defended the expensive overhaul, which mainly draws inspiration from the styles of antiquity, opposition parties have criticised the cost of the project at a time of economic crisis.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

2 thoughts on “New Statue Complex Honours Macedonian Heroes

  • September 8, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Looking at the complex close up, local linguists have meanwhile noticed that the word for justice is misspelled “Justicia” instead of “Justitia”.

    Just imagine if the skopjian leadership could read too!

  • September 8, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Nearly forgot.

    I know the skopjian authorities refuse to erect statues to this lands (FYROM)historical indigenous heroes like Arrybas, the leader of the Paeonian forces who not only crushed Philip II’s Greek forces from the south but entirely anniliated them to the point that Philip returned to his Greek lands with a handful of his officers and servants.

    And maybe I’m wrong, but is our skopjian leadership trying to imply that Prometheus and the winged victory Nike are also of Slavic origin or have they decided to steal more Greek historical figures to add to Alexander, etc.

    Utter Embarrasment has not yet sunk in, as our intelligence continues to be insulted by a skopjian leadership led by a cheap ex-boxer failure who’s capitalised on a bunch of wealthy overseas nationalistic jingoists (mainly from Canada) who keep bankrolling this horrendous theme-park in our backyard neighbourhood.

    What a disgrace and thanks Sinisa for keeping these idiots, who run our country from their skopjian ivory towers, in check!!!!


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