AUG 2018: Hooligan hotels and bully buildings busted into a performance of Swan Lake in the UNESCO City of Ohrid last month, causing a dancer from Bolshoi Theater to exit stage in a body bag.
During the performance, the cowboy constructions menaced the artist continually, encroaching upon her dance space and invading her stage with impunity. Given their remorseless harassment, it was no surprise when she collapsed in a state of exhaustion.
Frightening scenes at the ballet are just the latest in a string of serious vandalism incidents committed by hotels and other senseless structures in the Ohrid Region World Heritage Site. Known hotspots are Struga, Sveti Naum and Lagadin, but attacks can occur anywhere along the coast.
How the hooligan hotels entered the ballet performance is still unsure, but several are thought to have simply pushed their way in without buying a ticket. Shocked onlookers believe many others will suffer the same fate as the ballerina if lawlessness is allowed to continue in South West Macedonia.
When asked to control the situation, authorities and tourism industry players such as TUI Netherlands remain unclear about who will take responsibility to punish and prevent a repeat of the buildings’ moronic behavior, each claiming it is within the jurisdiction of another. This has raised suspicions that the constructions operate with their tacit consent.
UNESCO, however, is unequivocal that bully buildings represent a severe threat to the whole Ohrid region, which may endanger its World Heritage status unless action is taken soon. It has called upon the Macedonian government to enforce the rule of law and enact a temporary moratorium on all coastal and urban transformation until a system is in place to prevent hooligans taking advantage.