North Macedonia applies deal with Greece to statues

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Efforts by North Macedonia’s government to re-label public statues of historic figures, under a deal with neighboring Greece, have got off to a rocky start.

Vandals removed plaques installed Thursday on three statues in the capital, Skopje, of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the Great and his family, which clarified that they belong to ancient Greek history.

One of the plaques removed was retrieved later Friday. No arrests were made.

Greece long accused its neighbor, formerly called “Macedonia,” of trying to appropriate ancient Greek culture and of harboring territorial claims on northern Greece.

Under a breakthrough deal to normalize relations, the country was renamed North Macedonia this year. In return, Greece agreed to back its NATO and European Union accession bids.

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