Skopje 2014

more than a year ago
Taking controversial kitsch to dizzy new heights, depending on who you want to believe this massive undertaking designed to both commemorate the centenary of Macedonian independence as well as to give the city a more ‘classical’ look and feel has so far cost the taxpayer anything from between €80 million and €560 million.

Featuring dozens of statues, several new high profile buildings and a handful of new bridges and concrete ships, the crowning centrepiece is the vast Warrior on a Horse monument in Macedonia Square, a statue that everybody knows is supposed to represent Alexander the Great but that few are admitting to. Causing everything from cries of despair to indignant outrage (including the story of one statue whose manhood had to be covered with a pair of hastily manufactured metal underpants after a group of female politicians working across the street complained), the overall poor quality of the work is already beginning to show.

Although there’s no denying the city centre was fairly ugly before the project began, now it’s completely surreal. We personally like the 2013 statue of the ‘cruel but competent general’ Vasil Chekalarov on the roundabout opposite Skopje’s Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral.


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