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News 17 Jan 13

In Pictures: First Skopje Galleon Weighs Anchor

The first of four old-style sailing ships has weighed anchor in the middle of the Vardar River in the Macedonian capital.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

The old-style galleon, built by the local Falanga-DIM company, is to be used as an elite restaurant.

The company won the tender last year to construct and use two of the four galleons. The city has insisted that the replica ships resemble the multi-decked wooden sailing ships that were in use from the 16th to 18th centuries.

The concession will last 10 years and the firm will pay about 1,200 euros a month in rent for use of each ship.

The ships are to be moored in the heart of the city, near Skopje’s landmark Stone Bridge and near many of the newly-erected buildings that form part of the “Skopje 2014” city makeover.

While some like the galleons, others say they will turn the riverside area into a “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme park.

“I see nothing wrong in a restaurant on the river. It will be fun!” one passerby told Balkan Insight.

“That thing looks disgusting and is far from good taste” a less impressed middle-aged woman complained. A pensioner added: “They are doing this for profit, not for beautification [of the city]”.

Depiction of the other ship, to be built near the foreign ministry


The city is expected soon to choose the concessionary firm for the other two galleons.

The galleons form part of the grand government-led project, called Skopje 2014, which aims to give the neglected, grey-looking centre of the Macedonian capital a more monumental appearance.

Drawing inspiration from the architectural styles of Classic Antiquity, the project envisages the construction of museums, theatres, concert halls, hotels and administrative offices as well as marble and bronze monuments.

Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

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