Macedonians Mock Ruling Party's Soviet-Style Art

Macedonia's ruling party has drawn mockery for commissioning a set of paintings executed in old Soviet "Socialist Realist" style, showing its leaders in scenes of grandeur and victory.

NOVA TV, citing unnamed sources, said the VMRO DPMNE party commissioned the artwork to adorn the new party headquarters in central Skopje.

One painting leaked to the public shows the VMRO DPMNE leader, former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, at a centre of a rally, accompanied by his wife, Borkica, followed by party associates and government ministers.

Another depicts him delivering a speech at party HQ in front of a banner reading "Macedonia Has Strength!" and surrounded by associates and cheering supporters who are apparently celebrating an election victory.

A third depicts Gruevski in the early years of his political career when he was Finance Minister in the government of Ljubco Georgievski who is portrayed as the central figure.

Another portrays members of the old and new party leadership sitting at a same table, supposedly at the moment when the old party structures under Georgievski handed over control to Gruevski, more than ten years ago.

According to the TV's unnamed source, the largest of the batch of some 50 paintings is a 4-by-8 metre-wide portrait of Gruevski with his wife, Borkica, two daughters and his mother, Nada. This has not been presented in public, however.

The same source says the commission cost more than one million euros in total, although it is not certain whether this is true.

Since the release of the leaked paintings last week, the ruling party has declined to comment, neither denying nor confirming the authenticity of the art.

However, the Soviet-style artwork has sparked an...

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