Skopje Main Square Pt. ?

posted by istanbul on 2009/06/24 07:58

[ From the Media ]

Former Macedonian parliament member Mersel Biljali in an interview with SETimes about the government's plans for Skopje's main square (church, Alexander, more here):

Biljali: We are going backward instead of forward, especially with the so-called "antiquisation" -- that is, the process of renaming the airport and main highway after Alexander the Great, and the plan to place a grandiose monument on the public square. It is a bad practice, as history has shown multiple times. [...]
SETimes: The announcement that the church in the middle of Skopje will be rebuilt after it was destroyed in the 1962 earthquake has prompted calls to also rebuild the Burmali Mosque. How will this affect our multiethnic society?
Biljali: It is certain this situation will not have a positive influence, but rather will polarize things further, as has already been seen in some ways. See, in a multiethnic society you have to be very careful when you announce renovations, especially of religious buildings, because you can't favour only one ethnic group. In this case there are two different opinions. The first -- representing, I believe, the majority of Albanians and other non-Orthodox citizens, as well as many among the Orthodox as well -- is that there is no need for any religious building in the centre of Skopje. The second comes from supporters of the Burmali Mosque, who follow the logic of "let them build the church, because then we'll build the mosque". Building only one of the aforementioned sites could have a big impact.



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