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Skopje 2014: The new face of Macedonia, updated

May 11, 2012

The grand government funded project, Skopje 2014, aims to give the neglected, grey-looking centre of the Macedonian capital a more monumental appearance. The gallery has been updated with new photos, check them out.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 11.05.2012

Drawing inspiration from the architectural styles of Classic Antiquity, the project envisages the construction of almost 20 buildings, including, museums, theatres, concert halls, hotels and administrative offices.

A similar number of bronze and marble statues are also being erected to adorn the surroundings, including a triumphant arch and an obelisk.

The piece de resistance of the project is a 22-metre-high bronze equestrian statue of the Ancient warrior, Alexander the Great. The hero will stand on top of a white marble fountain that is now under construction on the main Macedonia Square.

Since it was unveiled in 2010, the project has attracted controversy. Supporters say it will shake up the image of a city blighted by decades of dreary Socialist architecture and simple neglect. They say the project will restore a missing sense of national pride, and create a more metropolitan atmosphere.

Critics complain about the cost of the job and the transparency of the contracts given to the architects and designers. Some feel a country as poor as Macedonia should spend its meager resources more prudently.

Although the government claims the project will cost about 80 million euros, the opposition maintains the bill will be more like 500 million euros.

They also see the project as a deliberate attempt to distract people from the country’s real problems – unemployment, poverty and stalled progress towards EU and NATO membership. Many architects, meanwhile, are not happy with the aesthetics of the project and would have preferred a more contemporary approach.

Foreign Affairs Ministry

Statue of Karposh

Orthodox Scholars St Cyril and Methodius and their pupils Kiril and Naum of Ohrid

National Theatre building

Goce Delcev and Dame Gruev

Triumphal arch

Four bronze lions like this one guard the Goce Delcev bridge

Monument in memory of the killed soldiers and policemen during 2001 conflict

Statue of Gjorgija Pulevski overlooking Macedonia square

Archeological museum

Central Fountain awaits Alexander the Great Statue

Museum of Macedonian Struggle

The 22 meters tall statue of Alexander the Great on the central square

Alexander the Great fountain and a Gazeebo in the back

Sculpture of lovers in the new gazeebo on the main square

Partly revamped facade in central Skopje

Lion guarding the central square

The fountain below the statue of Alexander the Great

Marble sculpture of Tzar Samoil

Archeological.Museum

The new bridge leading to the Archeological Museum will be filled with sculptures

Trimphal gate called Macedonia

The golden horses are part of the monument honoring Macedonian fallen heroes

The Woman Godess is also part of the monument for the fallen heroes

A new fountain in front of the monument of the fallen heroes

Monument honoring the formation of Macedonia as socialist republic after the WW2

Ottoman era revolutionary Nikola Karev in front of the parliament building that is also geting a facelift

Monument for the fallen soldiers and police officers during the 2001 armed conflict

The office building at the main square is one of the few that do not draw inspiration from the classical styles

Workers near the landmark Stone Bridge prepare ground for the new Karposh square

One of the four new fountains on the Karposh square

A fountain and a pedestal for the statue of Philip of Macedon on Karposh square

Workers finish the rear facade of the Archeological Museum

Graffiti on the landmark Stone Bridge saying Think Critically

The new building of the Telecomunications Agency near Vardar river

Byzantine emperor Justinian and the National Theatre building in the back

The National Theatre is due to open at the end of 2012

Part of the Holocaust Museum near the new theatre is still under construction

The Museum of Macedonian Strugle is open for tourists

Some of the new buildings are on top of the old Jewish district

One of the four bronze lions guarding Goce Delcev Bridge

The new fence on the modernist Goce Delcev Bridge was designed to match the revamp

The construction progress at the new philcharmonics is one of the slowest among Skopje 2014 buildings

The city recently planted three willows in Vardar

The financial police with a bridge leading to it and the new foreign ministry

Next in line for opening is the foreign ministry

This park in the central area will be demolished so that a new church can be built

The main square from the Stone Bridge

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