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Macedonia’s Statue Of Philip To Top Alexander’s

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By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Macedonia’s capital is to be dignified with a new 28-metre bronze statue of Philip of Macedon standing amid a luxurious complex of four fountains.

If all goes to plan, the complex will be even taller than the nearby statue of Alexander, which at 24 metres already towers over the centre of Skopje.

“The statue should be erected sometimes next year,” says Jovica Ackovski, the spokesperson of Skopje’s Centar municipality, which is ordering the monument.

The municipality has officially designated the statue “warrior with accompanying elements”, presumably in a bid not to upset Greece. This follows the previous pattern, when the government described the statue of Alexander simply as an equestrian warrior.

Rumours of Philip’s advent reached the public last December. At the tine, the the Mayor of Centar, Vladimir Todorovic, neither confirmed nor denied that the statue would be of Alexander’s Father.

“The warrior will be depicted in a standing position on top of a pedestal. He will be cast in bronze and will stand in the center of a tear-shaped fountain pedestal,” Ackovski said.

The author of the project, sculptor Valentina Stefkovska, in a recent interview for the national broadcaster, MTV said the statue would be 13 metres tall and the pedestal 15 metres tall, making a total of 28 meters.

Stefkovska, who also designed the statue of Alexander, said that the new fountains will be richly decorated with “figures, relief soldiers, horses and lions”.

Preparation works on the square where the complex is planned have already begun and a local company has been contracted to prepare the surroundings for the fountains. The cost of the contracts as well as of the statue itself remains a secret.

The controversial bronze statue of the Alexander along with the fountain pedestal cost over 9 million euros, the authorities revealed recently. The statue arrived in Skopje in mid-June and was soon assembled and erected on the city’s central Macedonia square.

The statue drew condemnation from Greek officials who said the move was provocative and retrograde and would further impede Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession bids.

Athens has prevented Skopje from joining NATO and is doing the same with Macedonia’s EU membership as a result of a long-standing dispute about use of the name “Macedonia” to which Greece objects.

The origin of Alexander the Great and of his father are at the heart of the dispute. Greece claims the warrior kings are an essential part of Hellenic history and culture.

In Macedonia, the statues are seen as the hub of a massive government-funded revamp of the capital, named “Skopje 2014”, which the government says will beautify the shabby-looking city.

The revamp of the city is ongoing with several buildings and monument already in place or nearing finished. The construction of a new national theatre, a history museum, ministry of foreign affairs and a museum of Macedonian struggle are already at an advanced stage.

Work continues on a triumphal arch, an obelisk and a new bridge. Dozens of large statues have already been erected in the heart of the city.

Skopje already has one smaller equestrian bronze statue of Philip in the suburb of Avtokomanda. This and another statue in the town of Bitola were erected last month at the same time as the statue of giant Alexander.

Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt 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.

5 thoughts on “Macedonia’s Statue Of Philip To Top Alexander’s

  • Avatar
    July 13, 2011 at 7:20 am
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    Indeed Filip II of Macedon was a much greater Macedonian than his son…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      July 14, 2011 at 12:36 am
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      When is the founder of the Former Yugoslav Republic Marshall Tito get his statue in Skopje?? Why is Gruevski overlooking this great Yugoslav leader??

      Reply
      • Avatar
        August 4, 2011 at 4:32 am
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        What the Macedonians put in their capital is their own business. Your country is bancrupt – you should worry about it.

        Reply
  • Avatar
    July 13, 2011 at 11:34 am
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    Why all the cryptic names for the statues??? Call it Phillipovski father of Alexandrovski the Makedonski. In the parallel historical universe of the former Yugoslav Republic. To make sure that historical accuracy is on hand make sure that the statues are appropriately marked with the language of Phillipos and Alexandros. Ancient Yugoslavian.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 am
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    This is excellent. The monument of Alexander the Great is already just SPECTACULAR! I can only imagine how beautiful will Philip’s be too. Macedonia is building exponentially while Greece went bankrupt. Macedonians could have not paid a better respect to their ancinet kings, conqurors of both Greece and the Persian Empire more then 2300 years ago.

    Reply

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