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Giant Mother Teresa Statue To Adorn Macedonia Square


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The spree of erecting giant monuments in Skopje continues as authorities make way for a new 30-metre-high statue of Nobel Prize-winning nun.

After the giant statue of Alexander the Great erected last year and that of his father Philip that was erected last week, Mother Teresa’s statue will be the third giant monument to join the centre of Skopje as part of the government-funded “Skopje 2014” revamp of the city.

The municipality of Centar has said the statue will be erected on Skopje’s main Macedonia Square.

Confirming the plans, Jovica Ackovski, the spokesperson of the municipality, said that the public will “get more details during later stages of the presentation of the [urban] plan”.

The location of the new sculpture, not far from that of Alexander, has already provoked some discussion among the city’s inhabitants.

“The square already has enough monuments, so they should find another place for Mother Teresa,” one local, named Borka Radivojevic, told Balkan Insight.

“It is way too close to Alexander. It makes no aesthetic sense,” another pedestrian added.

Born in Üsküb, today’s Skopje, when the region was part of the Ottoman Empire, Mother Teresa’s origins are today claimed by three neighbouring countries, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia.

Major roads, airports and public buildings across the region bear her name, and cities including Tirana, Skopje and Pristina have their own statues of the Catholic nun who gained a world reputation for her work in the slums of India.

A several-metre-high bronze statue of the nun already exists in Skopje, which recently opened a memorial house in her honour.

The municipality on Monday meanwhile dismissed media speculation that it is considering renaming itself “Alexandria” in homage to the ancient warrior whose statue now presides over the main square.

“These reports are not true and we take them as malicious,” the municipality said in a statement.

This idea was first launched in January by Todor Petrov, head of a pan-Macedonian non-profit organization, the World Macedonian Congress, seen as close to the main ruling centre-right VMRO DPMNE party.

Media reports claimed the idea had gained popularity among the VMRO DPMNE-led majority on the municipal council after the country again failed to join NATO at the Chicago summit owing to a Greek blockade related to the dispute over Macedonia’s name.

Should the municipality change its name in to “Alexandria” this would almost certainly anger Greece.

Relations between Macedonia and Greece are strained owing to the two-decades-long row over Macedonia’s name. Citing the unresolved issue, Greece has blocked Macedonia’s progress towards both EU and NATO membership.

Greece insists that use of the term “Macedonia” by its neighbour implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name.

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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.

12 thoughts on “Giant Mother Teresa Statue To Adorn Macedonia Square

  • May 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Mother Teressa, a self-identifying ethnic Albanian, has now posthumously been rebranded as an “ethnic Macedonian”. Next thing you know self–identifying Hellenes like ancient Macedonians will be rebranded as Slavic and self-identifying ethnic Bulgarian like Tsar Samual as ethnic Macedonians.

    Wait a sec…

    • May 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      I agree..your 100% right..people in the Balkans obviously don’t have history books! And if they do..They right there own!!! Pathetic… Mother Teresa is Albanian but born in Skopje.. Alexander the great is Greek from the Greek region of Macedon..and Tsar Samual is Bulgarian! Period!

      • May 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

        Mother Teresa, Alexander, Phillip and etc – all born within Macedonia. We are a democratic country who can build and call ourselves whatever we want – read the un charter. The real reason for all these negative comments is fear …. Suddenly the Macedonians have awoken and we want everybody to know the real hostory i.e. Balkan wars – division of Macedonia and the migration of the Greeks within Turkey to Aegean Macedonia. With each year we are finally showing the world why we were so great in the past? What has Greece got to be proud of …… Stealing European tax payers money? Failing to recognize and acknowledge minority groups within their borders? But no they are a democracy … The cradle of civilization …. Lol!!! Greece is not a comedy of Herculean proportions.

      • May 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

        Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia,therefore has the right to claim her as Macedonian.
        Greeks are uneasy about the Macedonian minority.
        Ex-premier of Greece Constantinos Mitsotakis in 1995 recognized that the problem with Macedonia was not the name but the Macedonian minority in Greece.”What made me uneasy from the begining was not the name of this country…the problem for me was how to avoid creating a second minority problem in Western Macedonia.If the problem of the Slavo-Macedonian minority in Western Macedonia is added to the muslim minority,which sadly,with our errors is a dangerous development,the situation will become unsustanable for Greek external politics…”emphasized the former Greek premier in the introduction of T.Skinalis book”For the name of Macedonia”.

        Mario Alinei,suggested”Todays ethnic Macedonians are authocthonous to Macedonia,it is very simple!Their language,ununtelligable to the ancient Greeks,was a form of proto Macedonian/Slav,which then spread outward,becoming more complex as it moved further away from Macedonia.Countless proto Macedonian letters unearthed on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia,(and no doubt in Pirin and Aegean Macedonia,though the respective occupiers have no doubt concealed them fromthe world because it does not fit their lies)attest to this fact!

        Dr.Thomas Arnold,thr founder of the school Ethos in the 19th century in England,suggested that “fabricating Greek legends will profoundly improve the English image,even more than the Greek image”

        John Adams,former president of US in 1783 characterized the Greeks as”corrupted in their morals to such a degree,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage…”

        Captain P.H.Evans,on September 16th 1943 said”The Balkan region is Macedonia by nature and not Greek”.

        Greece continues to fabricate history,but the world is aware of its lies.
        Greeks,don’t you worry about Macedonias statues,worry about your economy that has gone into the sewer because of corruption.Adams was right!

        • June 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm

          FYROM ultra nationalist Peter obsessively likes to make all sorts of claims about history… while meanwhile helives in a fantasyland. Not a single third party historian on earth claims ancient Mcedonians Slavic. Peter would be best to learn about FYROM’s ethnic Bulgarian past first before lecturing others about history.

          “It should be noted that there is NO CONNECTION between the
          Macedonians of the time of Alexander the Great who were a GREEK tribe
          and today’s so-called ‘macedonians’ of the ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of
          macedonia’ or FYROM, who are of SLAVIC origin and related to BULGARIANS.” –
          David H Levinson, ‘The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Cultures’

        • June 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm

          Further reading for Peter (aka ethnic Bulgarian who oppress evidence of his own heritage)

          Greeks have lived in Anatolia for millennia, especially along the Aegean coast. For a while, under Alexander, they dominated the land. And for all intents and purposes, the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire at the time) was Greek. When Mehmct 11 conquered Constantinople, he appointed a Greek monk to the orthodox Patriarch and allowed him to govern both the religious and secular affairs of the Greek community. The first Ottoman census, of 1477, counted half of Constantinople’s population as Greek, and four-hundred years later, even after the Greek War of Independence, it was still 21 percent Greek. – Lowenthal, David (1998). The heritage crusade and the spoils of history. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 245.

        • June 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

          Hey Peter… what did FYROM’s government officials mean when it used to assure everyone a few years ago….

          ‘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

          ‘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

  • May 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    The mother Teresa statue makes no aesthetic sense, and the Alexander staue makes no historic sense. Only in a country where history is determined by former communist ‘scientists’ can you find the claim that Mother Teresa, Alexader the Great, and Tsar Samuel were all of the same ethnic origin… haha!!!

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Peter, I think you need to check your history books (not Tito’sHistory) before you post what the rest of the planet and academia consider ridiculous claims by FYROm. Mother Theresa is an Ethnic Albanian, Megas Alexandro’s was NOT an ancient Vardarian nor was he born there (Hellene)Tsar Samuil a Bulgarian. History buddy is NOT A BUFFET TABLE where you can CHERRY PICK and create your own identity..History has been written and can’t be rewritten by FYROm fiction writers to suit their future political agenda.

  • May 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    North greeks are not Macedonian but greeks who are coming from Turkey’s cost … In 1910 they were more belonging to the izmir’s history than to Pela ! Europe buddy is NOT a buffet table where you can CHERRY PICK and take our money and live your lives. Thanks God, you are going to leave EU soon, and this pathetic atitude will be more a funny act of your poor Megas Pateticos attitude!

  • May 31, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Yes Greeks from Asi Minor settled in the area, but the vast majority of peopla in Mscedonia (the Greek province) were always Greeks. So your point is non sensical. The Bulgarians and Greeks did do a population exchange when the borders were settled. Your modern’Macedonian’identity is simply the removal of your Bulgarian identity and the fabrication of history to suit your made up identity.

  • June 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Did you not see my point between your/my origin and your policy which is unacceptable if you had the opportnuity to visit Maecedonia. If we were able to breath all this stories, I can not understand that you, greek people felt also in this ridiculous trap. Did you not see that, they send you, a piece of meet where all of you jumped on it ! When your poltician secretly spoilt all the greek nation, stold all your money and bring you to this crtitical point where you are today : you, greeks where sooo happy to jump to this “historical legacy” that you were not able to see, this last years, the marvelous rubbery work that your politician did. Look, look where you are, my nice neighbours ! look how you are living now. Tell me Akron, what is more important, a future for you, your parents, your children or “should we call north Macedonia of Skopje. If the nationalism is understandable in poor contry as mine, what about the birth place of the culture and the democracy ?
    I am sorry for you because instead of reaching your higher living level, you, EU country, you are reaching ours : a poor country. Where were you this last years ? Why are so brave to insulting us and closing the eyes to the people who bring you today so down?


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