Greece spars with Macedonia over giant Alexander statue

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Greece heaped scorn overnight on plans by Macedonia to erect a gigantic equestrian statue of Alexander the Great, the famed warrior-king of antiquity that both countries claim as their own.

The 22-metre statue of the ancient king of Macedon is to be placed on the main square of Macedonia's capital Skopje at an estimated cost of €4.5 million ($8.08 million), local authorities said.

In recent years, Greece has faced a challenge from the former Yugoslav republic over the spiritual rights to Alexander's heritage and has been at pains to stress that the ancient Macedonians were Greek.

But the tiny Balkan nation, which became independent after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, has staked its own claim as it lies on what was once part of ancient Macedonia.

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