The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) is another example of modern architecture in our capital.
In autumn 1963, a few months after the Skopje earthquake, a Panel started working on designing a work program for MoCA. The idea to establish the museum was born due to the large number of works of art donated to Skopje after the earthquake by international organizations, museums and individuals. According to Boris Petkovski, the first Head of the MoCA, in 1965 in Paris he met with Le Corbusier in order to invite him to be the author of the project, but the great architect could not accept this offer due to other engagements.
As a result, in 1966 an international competition was announced in which 89 architectural designs were submitted. The project of “Warsaw Tigers” was selected – architects J. Mokrzynski, E. Wierzbicki and W. Klyzewski. Construction of the facility began on April 5, 1969, and the museum was inaugurated on November 13, 1970 – the Day of the Liberation in Skopje. The facility is a donation from the Polish Government.
At the suggestion of Polish architect and urban planner Adolf Ciborovski, the highest point of the Kale hill in the center of the Skopje valley was chosen as the location of the MoCA. On one hand, the chosen location opposed the past with its modern construction (as opposed to the medieval and Ottoman fortress in its immediate vicinity), and on the other, it brought forth a great similarity to the Athenian Acropolis.
The building of the MoCA consists of three connected buildings, housing halls for occasional exhibitions, space for permanent exhibition, a lecture hall, a library, an archive and other premises. The external area serves as a place for conducting various sculptural projects. The MoCA exhibits works by twentieth-century artists.
At the grand opening of the building in 1970, Academician Blaze Koneski said: “This kind of building makes you communicate with the world. It is not hidden in some Balkan alley, yet it stands upright to perceive the old and the new town of Skopje and the widespread areas surrounding it, in just one glance. Let this building standing as a white swan open its wings over the tranquil bank of the town of Skopje.”