Members of the youth wing of the Greek far-right group Golden Dawn broke into an exhibition of the fine artist Sergej Andreevski from North Macedonia on Wednesday night.
The exhibition was being held in the gallery of the Thessaloniki municipality of Kalamaria.
The Golden Dawn members verbally assaulted the artist, and later bragged online about their efforts to shut down the exhibition.
Greek police told reporters that 15 people, all wearing clothing marked with Golden Dawn insignia, had broken into the exhibition. The group then pasted printed material at the entrance of the venue, and then departed. No damage or injury resulted from the incident.
“The police security department in Thessaloniki is investigating the case. At this stage, no press release will be issued,” police said.
The Municipality of Kalamaria said that the incident had been forwarded to its Security Department.
“Kalamaria is a city of refuge, of culture, deeply democratic… Last night a group of 10 people appeared at the end of an exhibition of paintings by an artist who has been exhibiting in Greece since 2002, who, according to his statement, is far from the attitudes and groups of irredentism,” municipality authorities told reporters.
“The incident has been taken up by the relevant service of the Security Department of Kalamaria,” it continued.
A video of the incident was uploaded to Golden Dawn’s YouTube channel.
In the video, the members of the group, wearing black and with their faces covered, are seen verbally attacking Andreevski. They accused him of celebrating past massacres of Greeks, and demanded that he make a public apology.
“You have no right to be here in a Greek public space; you should be ashamed, we have relatives and ancestors who sacrificed their lives for the Greekness of Macedonia, and you dare to come here to celebrate the massacres of Greeks on your profiles,” group members told the artist.
“If you want to be here, you are obliged to apologize publicly… You can be either a Slav or a Greek. There are no alleged non-Greek Macedonians. This is over,” they said.
North Macedonia’s Foreign Ministry slammed the masked individuals for their behavior, and said it would not accept any compromise over the “Greek character of Macedonia.”
“The Consulate General of North Macedonia in Thessaloniki and the embassy in Athens immediately contacted the competent authorities of Greece, and the Greek Foreign Ministry was also informed about the incident,” North Macedonia’s Foreign Ministry said.
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