Macedonia Braces For Giant Statue Of Philip


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

After the installation of the giant equestrian statue of Alexander the Great, the capital is bracing for another star attraction, an even vaster statue of Alexander’s father.

The 28-metre-high statue of Philip of Macedon will soon be finished and placed in central Skopje next year, the sculptor, Valentina Stevanovska, said.

“The statue is already being cast in bronze and will be finished in a few months”, Stevanovska told the daily Vecer.

Philip will be placed amid a luxurious complex of four fountains, overlooking Alexander’s statue from the opposite side of Skopje’s landmark Stone Bridge. He will be depicted in a standing position, unlike Alexander, who is riding a horse.

Officially, the entire composition is labelled “Warrior with accompanying elements”, presumably in a bid not to upset Greece, which claims Philip and Alexander as Greek heroes.

This follows the previous pattern in which the government officially described the statue of Alexander simply as “an equestrian warrior”.

Philip’s 13-metre statue will be placed on top of a 15-metre pedestal covered in marble and bronze reliefs making a total of 28 metres, closely copying the composition of the Alexander statue.

The fountains will be additionally decorated with accompanying statues of ancient warriors, mothers with children and galloping horses, said Stevanovska, the author also of the Alexander statue.

Meanwhile, preparatory works on the square are already in full flow. The basic contours of the pedestal and central fountain can already be seen at the construction site.

The facades of the nearby buildings are soon to get a neo-Classical and Baroque finish to better fit the “Antique” style of the city’s Skopje 2014 project.

The new statue is almost certain to draw more criticism from neighbouring Greece.

The statue of Alexander, which arrived in Skopje in June and was soon erected on the central Macedonia square, was seen by Greek officials as a provocative move that would further impede resolution of Greek-Macedonian disputes and Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession bids.

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

The two statues are seen as the core of the massive government-funded revamp of the capital, named “Skopje 2014”, which the government says will beautify the shabby-looking city.

Several buildings and monuments are already in place or are nearly finished. The construction of a new national theatre, a history museum, a foreign ministry and a concert hall are at an advanced stage.

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

Skopje already has a much smaller equestrian bronze statue of Philip in the suburb of Avtokomanda. This and another statue in the town of Bitola were erected in June at the same time as the statue of Alexander rose up in Skopje.

Macedonia paid some 9 million euros for the Alexander statue, officials have said. The statue of Philip is likely to cost much the same amount.

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.

13 thoughts on “Macedonia Braces For Giant Statue Of Philip

  • December 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    The Ancient Macedonians spoke Greek and claimed to be Greek…….
    About a century ago the people of FYROM used to refer to themself as “Bulgarians”, and during the 1940s when Tito of Yugoslavia change Southern Serbia into Macedonia, The people of FYROM re-Identified themself as Macedonians and now they are trying to claim its Greek history, Greek culture and territories.

    • December 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

      Whatever medication you are on, stop taking it.
      Greek = Christian Turks, Vlach, Macedonians and Albanians.

      As “Greeks” you should bow to the Germans for creating your country in the first place.
      If it wasn’t for Berlin, you’d be speaking either Turkish, Macedonian or Albanian.

      • December 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

        @”Steven Naismith” (nice fake handle btw)

        “The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the “Macedonian” historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the “Macedonian” identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made.” -former FYROM foreign minister Denko Maleski

        Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Persians, Chinese and Japanese could be cited as examples of ethnic continuity, since, despite massive cultural changes over the centuries, certain key identifying components—name, language, customs, religious community and territorial association—were broadly maintained and reproduced for millennia. – Anthony D. Smith British Professor Emeritus of Nationalism and Ethnicity LSE, Nationalism and Modernism, 2003, Cambridge University Press.

  • December 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    FYROM should never be referred as Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia or even use the Greek name Macedonia. It is historically inappropriate. Ancient Macedonians have alway claimed to be Greek and they even spoke Greek while FYROM a slavic race which arrived into Europe 1000 years after Alexander The Great speak a language that is Bulgarian. About a century ago FYROM used to refer to themself as Bulgarians…
    So what gives FYROM the rights to steal another country name, history and culture…. Macedonia is truly Greek….

    • December 16, 2011 at 12:34 am

      My dear fellow,you don’t know history.You are mixing history with politics.
      First of all,you have no connection with the ancient Hellens,and since this is true,how can you have any connection with the ancient Macedonians?
      Remember,it was the Macedonians who had the yoke over the Hellens,not the other way around.You see,you are a dreamer to say the least.Ancient Macedonians did not speak Greek,and to proof that just read what Alexander said to Philotas at his treason trial.Quote from Polybius”speakers of same language” with which the Greek fellow wanted to use as proof that Ancient Macedonians spoke the same language as the Ancient Hellens and thus,they must be classed as Hellens”

      Now,these same Greeks are burning the candle from the other end and want to argue the point but this time,since it suits their purpose,in the oppsite direction:namely that”linguistic criteria are not only insufficient to denote ethnic naunces in the Balkans but they can be misleading.
      Remember,Ancient city states were populated with the Albanian majority,not Hellens.It is true today that Greece consists of more than 45% of Albanians,10% Macedonians,rest are Turks,Vlahs,Roma and all others who came to this area as immigrants.
      In 1856-58 Greece was conteplating to use the Albanian language before the decision was made to use the new language”dimotiki”that had to be learned in school by all its citizens from birth to old age.Those days in Greece you could not serve in the army unless you learned the new language.
      Prince Otto named your country Greece for his own glory.There was no country called Greece before Prince Otto of Austria who was installed by the French.
      You Greeks are the champions of fabrications,no one can take it away from you,that you don’t have to worry.
      Foot note:Greece recognised Macedonia and Macedonian language in 1925 at the League of Nations when Greece printed the Abecedar in Macedonian.Greece put up a firce arguments againts Bulgaria and Serbia at the League of Nations on the Macedonian identity and language.
      Today,Macedonians have a voice,a voice to take back what it belongs to them.

  • December 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    ‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’ – FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka, speech to US representatives in Washington on January 22 1999

    ‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.’ – FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

    “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” – Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President, Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992

  • December 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I claim to be Macedonian, I claim to be a decendent of Filip and Aleksandar and I also claim the sun of Kutlesh as my Macedonian symbol with its beautiful 16 rays.

    I am Macedonian, I am from the Republic of Macedonia and there is NOTHING that your broke country TGCOG (The German Colony of Greece) can do to stop it :)))

    You will not get any further response because you are undemocratic barbarians who refuse the right to self determination of an entire race.

    Uneducated people.

    P.S Give Turkey back their islands.

  • December 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    “It is an illusion to claim the Ancient Macedonians as Greeks.” (Karagatsis)

    “Ancient Macedonians, linguistically, ethnically and culturally were different from the Ancient Greeks.” (Waldemar Heckell, J.C. Yardley editors Ancient History Bulletin.)

    “Greeks arrived in Macedonia for the first time in 1913”. Borza.

    “Greeks have nothing to do with the Ancient Macedonians or with Macedonia.” Gandeto.

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:10 am

      You are falsifying statements from Borza and others. Which is of course normal for nationalist from Fyrom. Maybe you could read their books instead?

      Here is some real quotes from Borza

      “Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity […] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history,”

      Eugene N. Borza, “Macedonia Redux”, in “The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999

  • December 16, 2011 at 12:34 am

    greeks are like a broken record go on and on and on and on and on and on and on for eveeeeeer

    • December 28, 2011 at 3:16 am

      Nothing is broken except for the political falsification of history that is going on in Fyrom.

  • December 28, 2011 at 3:06 am

    400 world famous historians from universities such as Oxford and Cambridge states

    “The answers are clear: Alexander the Great was Greek, not Slavic, and Slavs and their language were nowhere near Alexander or his homeland until 1000 years later. This brings us back to the geographic area known in antiquity as Paionia. Why would the people who live there now call themselves Macedonians and their land Macedonia? Why would they abduct a completely Greek figure and make him their national hero?”

    “the government in Skopje to understand that it cannot build a national identity at the expense of historic truth. Our common international society cannot survive when history is ignored, much less when history is fabricated.”

    w w w . macedonia-evidwence .org

  • December 28, 2011 at 3:13 am

    How the former Bulgarians from Fyrom got their new identity according to accredited historians:

    Macedonia was also an attempt at a multicultural society. Here the fragments are just about holding together, although the cement that binds them is an unreliable mixture of propaganda and myth. The Macedonian language has been created, some rather misty history involving Tsar Samuel, probably a Bulgarian, and Alexander the Great, almost certainly a Greek, has been invented, and the name Macedonia has been adopted. Do we destroy these myths or live with them? Apparently these “radical Slavic factions” decided to live with their myths and lies for the constant amusement of the rest of the world…”

    T.J. Winnifrith, “Shattered Eagles, Balkan Fragments”, Duckworth,1995.

    The Macedonian nationalists quite simply stole all of Bulgarian historical argument concerning Macedonia, substituting Macedonian for Bulgarian ethnic tags in the story. Thus Kuber formed a Macedonian tribal alliance in the late seventh century; Kliment and Naum were Macedonians and not Bulgarians; the medieval archbishop-patriarchate of Ohrid, which Kliment led, was a Macedonian, not a Bulgarian independent church, as shown by the persistence of Glagolitic letters in the region in the face of the Cyrillic that were spawned in Bulgaria; and the renowned Samuil led a great Macedonian, rather than a western Bulgarian, state against Byzantium (giving Slav Macedonia its apex in the historical sun).

    Dennis P. Hupchick, “Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe”, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.

    The obviously plagiarized historical argument of the Macedonian nationalists for a separate Macedonian ethnicity could be supported only by linguistic reality, and that worked against them until the 1940s. Until a modern Macedonian literary language was mandated by the socialist-led partisan movement from Macedonia in 1944, most outside observers and linguists agreed with the Bulgarians in considering the vernacular spoken by the Macedonian Slavs as a western dialect of Bulgarian.

    Dennis P. Hupchick, “Conflict and Chaos in Eastern Europe”, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.


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