Skopje Moves Controversial ‘Macedonian’ Statue

Statue of Andon Lazov Yanev in Skopje

As Skopje begins to replace signs featuring Greek cultural symbols — such as its ‘Alexander the Great Highway’ displays — FYROM’s government also moved a controversial statue on Thursday.

The statue of Andon Lazov Yanev, a 19th century nationalist, was moved from its place outside the main courthouse in the FYROM capital.

Yanev; variously described as Bulgarian and ‘Macedonian’, was known for his involvement in the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), which sought to violently overthrow Ottoman rule. It also engaged in conflict with Greece over territorial claims.

Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Thursday that the statue’s removal was part of moves by Skopje to extinguish irredentist claims against Greece, and bolster ongoing negotiations over the 25-year name dispute.

Skopje is well known for its architectural enthusiasms, with a series of expensive building projects — complete with dozens of statues — which have been criticized at home and abroad as being expensive and ahistorical.

 


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