Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sculpture and Macedonia

Another cultural war is brewing.
This one is over a 1000 year old Big Name brand.

Who owns the rights to Alexander the Great?
The giant statue ready to be assembled. Photo from the Econimist.
A new equestrian sculpture was placed in the main square of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. It's old school impressive at 92 foot tall, weighing 30 tons, and costing thirteen million (US) dollar (9 million euros).

The bronze sculpture was cast in Florence by the foundry Ferdinando Marinelli.  Placed on a 10m concrete pedestal it will be surrounded by a fountain. It's BIG.

The artist is Valentina Stefanovska,who worked on the sculpture for three years. Officially it's bland name is, "Warrior on a horseback" but all involved know it depicts the hero of Greece, Alexander the Great.

And that's where the trouble starts.

Macedonia and Greece are in dispute over who lay claim to the heritage of Alexander.

Macedonians claim they have the same right as Greeks to call themselves descendants of Alexander, arguing that Macedonia in ancient times was one geographical territory, and its heroes now belong to everyone living in its separate states of Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria. Greece, however says its neighbor is falsely laying claim to its history and ancient heritage.

Ancient history and art serve contemporary political agendas? Read more here.

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