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Alexander the Great pulled from Macedonia airport in gesture

February 24, 2018

Passengers walk towards the airport building, as workers remove giant letters of the sign, reading in Macedonian, "Alexander the Great Airport", near Macedonia's capital Skopje, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. The Macedonian government decided recently to rename the country's main airport which carried the name of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, as Skopje International Airport, in a goodwill gesture toward neighboring Greece. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia has begun the process of changing the name of its airport honoring the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great as a goodwill gesture to Greece.

Turkish consortium TAV, which operates Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, started removing the 3-meter-long (9.8 feet) letters spelling out the name from the terminal Saturday.

The airport’s new name will be Skopje International Airport. It was called Skopje Airport before Macedonia’s previous government named it for Alexander in 2006.

Macedonia and Greece are working to resolve a 25-year dispute over the Macedonia name.

Greece argues that Macedonia’s use of it when it gained independence in 1991 implies territorial claims to its Macedonia province, where Alexander was born.

The current government also plans to change the name of a highway bearing Alexander’s name to Prijatelstvo, which is Macedonian for friendship.

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