“From the Shar Mountains, where snow rarely melts, to the three-toed Chalkidiki plunging into the Aegean Sea. This is Macedonia. And who are Macedonians? Four centuries BC, they dominated almost the entire oikuméne – the inhabited world. Today, the right to their inheritance has been a bone of contention. When in 1991 the Macedonian state of 2 million citizens was established – it was denied its name. With a legacy of myths more abundant than it can digest, modern Macedonia is stubbornly looking for its own way.”
On July 26, 1963, the Macedonian capital found itself at the epicentre of the largest and most tragic earthquake in the modern history of this country, after which the city, destroyed in almost 80 percent, had to reinvent itself. Its reconstruction was a forgotten example of great international solidarity of politicians, architects, urban planners, artists and people of good will.
The album presents the history of the city’s reconstruction. The urban plan of the very centre was drafted by the famous studio of Kenzô Tange – a Japanese architect known for such projects as the Hiroshima Peace Centre. Polish architects and urban planners also made invaluable contributions, e.g. Adolf Ciborowski, who supervised the reconstruction process on behalf of the United Nations, and Stanisław Jankowski, head of the Polish team developing the general plan for the new Macedonian capital. A separate theme in the book is the story of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Skopje – a gift from the Polish government, whose seat on the hill above the Vardar was designed by Polish architects from the “Tigers” design team: Wacław Kłyszewski, Jerzy Mokrzyński and Eugeniusz Wierzbicki.