Macedonian capital gets new king-sized statue

Macedonian capital gets new king-sized statue

SKOPJE - The Associated Press
Macedonian capital gets new king-sized statue

A crane lifts a 13-meter-high bronze Statue of Philip II of Macedonia. AFP photo

Macedonia has started building another king-sized statue of an ancient ruler of Greece in the heart of the capital, Skopje.

Once completed, the 13-meter (42-foot) bronze effigy of Philip II of Macedon will face an equestrian colossus of his son, Alexander the Great, a couple of hundred meters away. Philip will stand on a 16-meter (52-foot) plinth.

Left-wing opposition parties have criticized the twin project as a monumental waste of money that promotes nationalism.

But the conservative government argues that it is an important urban regeneration scheme.

The project is also expected to annoy many in neighboring Greece, which has a 21-year dispute with Macedonia and claims that the country's name implies claims on its own northern province of Macedonia. Macedonians consider Philip and Alexander as part of their heritage.