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Macedonia Erects Contentious New Statue


A crane lifts a 13-meter-high bronze statue of Philip II of Macedonia, officially named "The Warrior," onto its 18-meter-high pedestal in central Skopje on May 22.

A crane lifts a 13-meter-high bronze statue of Philip II of Macedonia, officially named "The Warrior," onto its 18-meter-high pedestal in central Skopje on May 22.

A giant bronze statue of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, has been unveiled in Skopje, a development that could cause further strains in Macedonia's relationship with neighboring Greece.

The monument was assembled close to the square where a statue of Alexander the Great was inaugurated in June 2011, provoking a furious reaction from Greece.

The 13-meter-tall statue of Philip, officially named "The Warrior," is placed on an 18-meter-tall pedestal and depicts the ruler standing with a sword in his left hand and his right fist raised toward the sky.

Both Macedonia and Greece claim Alexander the Great as their own.

Athens also refuses to accept its neighbor's use of the name Macedonia, saying this implies a territorial claim on the Greek province of the same name.

Greece has blocked Skopje's attempts to enter NATO and the European Union.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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