The Greek contribution to Skopje's modern identity

I first visited Skopje in 1997 to attend a peace concert by Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis. It had all the elements to become a charming city with a strong modernist identity, expanding on the reconstruction that was carried out with the help of Greek architect Constantinos Doxiadis after the devastating earthquake in 1963.

On a recent visit, however, I was disappointed by what was evidently a rush job to implement Skopje 2014, a project launched by the then nationalist government of Nikola Gruevski to endow the capital with "classical charm." What I found was less greenery, no open spaces around the old stone bridge spanning the Vardar River, and some of its modernist architectural elements sacrificed on the altar of Gruevski's ambitions of grandeur.

Today, in the wake of the Prespes agreement with Greece, there is a lively debate among artists and architects on...

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