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Memorial Tomb to the Heroes of WWII

Veles, Macedonia
1 of 10Spomenik database

The Memorial Ossuary was built to commemorate the Partisan soldiers who fought for the freedom of Veles and Macedonia during the National Liberation War from 1941 to 1945 against the fascist German and Bulgarian forces. Design selected for the monument complex upon the competition's conclusion was the proposed concept put forward by Novi Sad creative duo sculptor Ljubomir Denkoviḱ and architect Savo Subotin. On-the-ground construction began in 1976. The monument's creation, which was coordinated by Veles veterans organizations, was largely financed through public donations from people across the Veles region.

The shape of the monument is described to be in the shape of an upside-down open poppy flower, with half the inside area open air vestibule, while the other half houses a small museum and mosaic art installation (which is among the most expansive in Macedonia). The vestibule half of the monument originally contained many copper plaques listing the names of fallen soldiers and interpretive descriptions of the history of Veles. A long steep staircase would lead up to the monument. Around the base of the staircase was built a large courtyard at the middle of which was a circular sunken amphitheater area. To the north of the amphitheater was built a long promenade landscaped with rose beds. Originally lining the promenade was a series of sculptural busts sitting on pedestals depicting many Macedonian heroes and revolutionaries.

With the dismantling of Yugoslavia during the 1990s, the monument began to fall into disrepair and neglect. While the art and mosaics in the museum were more or less protected, all the copper plaques in the outside open-air sanctum of the monument have all been removed or stolen. It is not clear whether these stolen memorial elements have been recovered by the authorities, but if they have, they have yet to be restored in their original locations. Furthermore, due to years of neglect, the monument's structure and facade had become stained and discolored, the roof had begun to leak and the exterior concrete was chipping, cracking and being vandalized with graffiti. Then, in 2003, the city received 100,000 euros in funds from the Macedonian Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments to renovate the memorial complex and install an updated security system.