The Alexander the Great statue at the centre of Skopje, North Macedonia, had been a source of conflict with Greece that accused its neighbouring country of borrowing from its history.

North Macedonian authorities on Friday erected a sign at the base of the statue that points to the Greek origins of the figure. The statue was part of the highly-funded Skopje 2014 project of the right-wing leadership of North Macedonia aimed at provoking Greece by erecting statues of figures like Alexander the Great that were claimed to be part of North Macedonia’s history.

A sign was placed underneath to state that Alexander the Great “belonged to ancient Hellenic history and civilisation.” Unfortunately, within 24 hours the sign was vandalised and destroyed.

Earlier, upon the sign’s erection, Greek former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias Tweeted that “this is an action of friendship between peoples, which strikes at irrendentism. This is an answer to all those who were swearing at me.”

Mr Kotzias was one of the creators of the controversial Prespes Agreement, that put an end to the long-running name dispute with North Macedonia.

The agreement stipulates that North Macedonia is obliged to highlight that the nation has no relation to the history and civilisation of Greece, Alexander the Great, his father Philip of Macedonia or the ancient Macedonian Kingdom.

Σήμερα μπήκε στα Σκόπια κάτω από το άγαλμα του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου η πινακίδα που λέει ότι ο Μ.Αλέξανδρος είναι Έλληνας ήρωας που ανήκει στην ιστορία των αρχαίων Ελλήνων. Πρόκειται για άλλη μια πράξη φιλίας των λαών και χτυπήματος του αλυτρωτισμού. Απάντηση σε όσους με έβρισαν.

— Nikos Kotzias (@NikosKotzias) August 16, 2019