A rejuvenation project led to the erection of a ridiculous number of statues in the Macedonian capital of Skopje that has turned the city into one of the kitsch capitals of Europe.
The reason for the crazy amount of statues in Skopje, North Macedonia is both hilarious and sad. Before we explore these statues, we need to go into the reason why they are even there.
In 2010 there was a major redevelopment project announced titled “Skopje 2014.” This was a project financed by the then-ruling nationalist party VMRO-DPME. The official purpose of the project was to give Skopje a more “classical appeal.”
The project was set to build colleges, museums, government buildings, and monuments depicting historical figures from the region of Macedonia.
This was controversial for a number of reasons:
- It was seen as politically controversial in nature due to the fact that it attempts to forward the narrative of Macedonian history (a super controversial thing that would take an entire article to get into). In very broad strokes, this narrative proposes that a Macedonian identity has always existed from antiquity through the Middle Ages and into the present. Which, according to many critics (especially Greek critics), is simply not true.
- The wild costs which have been estimated from anywhere to €80 million to €500 million which has caused many in the city to wonder why the money wasn’t being spent on something like infrastructure as the city lacks simple things like good roads. The government said in 2013 it had spent 200 million on the project.
- Allegations of a possible money laundering scheme were brought up in 2013. A municipal review commission detected illegal procurements worth at least €8 million. To support this the commission wondered why the former mayor had favoured two Italian firms for bronze and marble statues despite their quotes being 220% costlier than the actual price.
The project was able to gain traction as the city was in shambles after an earthquake in 1963 that destroyed about 80% of the city. A lot of the buildings that faced destruction were the neoclassical buildings found in the city centre, hence the classical rejuvenation. There was also the idea to revamp and remove the former communist style buildings.
Regardless of the decision making behind it, the city has started becoming a tourist attraction precisely because of this perceived frivolous spending. But it isn’t because people think it’s good, it’s because it is kitsch, some even going as far as to call it a “mini-Vegas.”
There are so many statues that there is a game tourists and backpackers play in the city. The aim is to see how many statues you can find around the city in 24 hours. One writer said they saw 68 different statues!
Here are a few of my favourites.
Bremont Isle of Man TT Limited Edition Celebrates the Most Dangerous Race in the World
Bremont’s newest chronograph celebrates one of the fastest, and most dangerous race in the world, the Isle of Man TT.
Balenciaga Spring 2024 “Capital B” Collection is Subtle but Refined
What does “Capital B” say about Balenciaga? That Paris and Balenciaga are intertwined in such a way as to embody each other.
Timeless Elegance: A Beginner’s Guide to Luxury Watches and How to Choose the Perfect Timepiece to Complement Your Lifestyle
If you’re interested in buying luxury watches there are a few things to consider in order to make the perfect purchase to complement your lifestyle.
Cardi B Helped Offset Quit Codeine: “I Was Drinking My Whole Career”
The “powerhouse” couple stated in a recent interview that Cardi B was the reason Offset quite codeine.
Mercedes Upgrades in Monaco Take W14 From “Awful” to “Not Good”
The Mercedes tested out the W14s new upgrades at the Monaco Grand Prix which have shown tenative signs of improvement.
Mercedes Unveil Their New Concept W14 at Monaco
It’s goodbye to the zero-sidepod concept and hello the new concept W14. Will it be enough to bridge the gap?