Costas Varotsos says proposal to place his Athens artwork in North Macedonia is ‘surreal’
Like most landmarks in any capital, the Runner has its admirers and its detractors. At more than 12 metres high, the 70-ton monument opposite Athens’ Hilton hotel is hard to miss. But whether Greeks love it or hate it, the gargantuan glass statue has become a fixture that few are willing to part with.
No one knows this better than Costas Varotsos, the internationally acclaimed artist who sculpted Dromeas – after the Greek word for runner – in the 1990s. His phone has been ringing off the hook since the Greek culture minister, Myrsini Zorba, purportedly proposed that the celebrated work should leave Greece in a cultural exchange that has exercised the nation, not least because the recipient country would have been the newly renamed North Macedonia.