“Quick quiz. Which of the following makes sense?

a) Three pirate ships on a river in a landlocked country in the Balkans;

b) A 47-foot-high bronze statue of an ancient warrior that is Alexander the Great and is also not Alexander the Great; or

c) A house dedicated to Mother Teresa, a saint known for her modesty, done up in an opulent style that can best be described as Miami meets the Flintstones.

Answer: None, unless you are in Skopje, Macedonia. They all have a home there as part of a long-running face-lift for the city, which has turned it into what could be one of the kitschiest capitals on the planet.

About a decade ago, the then-governing party of Macedonia came up with an idea for a citywide building and renovation project as a way to claim ownership of its history and draw in tourists.

Hundreds of new sculptures were put up across the city, and many new buildings erected in the center of town. Dozens of false facades were added to Communist-era buildings, while scores of plaques appeared, attesting to events with varying degrees of historical accuracy.” (NY Times)