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[via a translator] This is my dream: to better the quality of life for my
citizens; to have better streets, better places where we can get together, and
a better looking city.
This week on Common Ground, managing
Macedonia. And taking a spin around the globe.
george Glazer:They are decorative arts and so they are decorative
objects. They are also partly map. And then they are also scientific
instruments because you could do scientific calculations with them.
KEITH PORTER: Common Ground is a program on world affairs and the people who
shape events. It’s produced by the Stanley Foundation. I’m Keith Porter.
MCHUGH: And I’m Kristin McHugh.
Macedonia remains one of the world’s hot spots as ethnic Albanians living there
seek improved minority rights. However, more basic concerns are on the agendas
of six newly elected Macedonia mayors. The group recently toured the United
States under the auspices of the State Department’s International Visitor
Program. Their visit included stops in Washington, Portland, and Phoenix, and
ended in two small towns amid the cornfields of eastern Iowa.
PORTER: Macedonia is working to
decentralize its government, giving local elected officials a great deal more
control over their cities. As Common
Ground’s Cliff Brockman reports, the mayors are anxious for the reforms.
[sound of applause at a small meeting]
These visitors I understand represent at least six cities and they are the
mayors of these cities.
These Macedonian mayors are touring a junior high in Coralville, Iowa. It’s the
first time any of the six have visited a school in the United States. Their
tour takes them to a geography class where they are obviously enjoying
MACEDONIAN MAYOR: [via a translator, and speaking to the students] Well, you should
feel a little bit lucky that you have only seven or eight subjects, yeah, in
your curriculum. Well, in Macedonia they have 12 or 13.
[students groan and gasp]
MACEDONIAN MAYOR: [via a translator, and speaking to the students] And we have one
question. We have a question for you. Where is Macedonia and what time is it
[students laugh and talk]
BROCKMAN: Macedonia was once part of
the Roman Empire. It’s now a landlocked state in the heart of the Balkans. Its
two million citizens live in an area roughly the size of Vermont. Macedonia
declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1992. Ethnic tensions remained
high as the conflict raged in neighboring Kosovo. Then last winter violence
flared between ethnic Albanians and Macedonians. In August, after weeks of
negotiating, both sides signed a peace agreement. But the pact remains tenuous
as violence continues.
The visiting mayors politely answered questions
about the conflict in their country. They also agree Slobodan Milosovic’s
departure from neighboring Yugoslavia is good for the region. But it’s clear
their main agenda is local politics. They’re learning as much as they can about
what it takes to be a leader in a United States city. Violeta Alarova is the
mayor of the Center municipality in Skopje, and the former director of a
Macedonian radio station.
[via a translator] It is a challenge, since I was born in the municipality that
I am running. This is my dream: to better the quality of life for my citizens;
to have better streets, better places where we can get together, and a better
BROCKMAN: Alarova may soon have the
tools she needs to improve her home town. The national government is expected
to soon approve four new laws.
IMIR SELMANI: [via a translator] See, the
first law is a law that has to do with the local, what we call
“self-government,” which gives us, or gives the local governments, much more
BROCKMAN: This is Mayor Imir Selmani
of Saraj Municipality in Skopia.
SELMANI: [via a translator] The
second law will be the law of the financing. The new law that will be passed,
it will be for financing the local government. And this law provides for the
local government to collect itself the means from its citizens. If you follow
the logic, then the more money we collect from our citizens the more we’ll have
to spend. The third law has to do with the number of municipalities which we
have in Macedonia or the way Macedonia has been divided into these municipalities.
We have 123 of them at this point. But with the new law they’ll only be
80-something. Which means we’ll make bigger municipalities or districts, so the
region will take—one municipality will take a bigger area of the country. And
the last law has to do specifically with the capital of Macedonia, Skopje, will
regulate the relationship between the city of Skopia and then the various
municipalities which are within the city limits.
BROCKMAN: Selmani says the goal is to
implement the reforms by the end of this year. Sulmani, an ethnic Albanian, was
elected a little over a year ago.
SELMANI: [via a translator]
Unemployment is the biggest problem, problem that we’re facing, but also the
development of the infrastructure such as waste water treatment, and supply of
water, and maintenance of roads as well.
BROCKMAN: Sounds very similar to some
of the problems here?
SELMANI: [via a translator] Well,
comparing the two, I believe that the place where we are at today here in the
United States is much further down the road in resolving those problems. So
we’ll have to work much more to catch up with you.
BROCKMAN: How do you think that you
will be able to resolve some of those?
SELMANI: [via a translator] The
resolution of these problems depends to a great degree in the passing of the
new legislature that we expect will happen and the authorities that we will get
through it. And this legislature is to be passed in the next few weeks or
months. It will have the opportunity to have greater creativity in defining
solutions to resolve these problems that the citizens are facing.
BROCKMAN: We hear a lot of, about
violence in your country. Does that affect you in your city?
SELMANI: [via a translator] I am the
mayor of a municipality which has a majority which is actually a minority at
national level. There are 90 percent—my municipality consists of 90 percent
Albanian population, which is only 25 percent of the nation at national level.
And as you know in the past several months there has been an ethnic conflict between
the Albanians and the Macedonians. And, but fortunately for my municipality and
for myself as a mayor, there have been no ethnic conflicts in my municipality.
The main impression I’ve head from this visit in the United States and what we
can use as an experience in transferring to Macedonia is the way that the
United States have regulated that interethnic relations here and how they’ve
worked them out.
BROCKMAN: Ljubomiiz Janev is the
mayor of Kocani. He’s a 39-year-old civil engineer. Like the others he’s fairly
new at being mayor. He definitely likes the variety of municipal models the US
has to offer.
a translator] The first thing that impressed me was the various cities around
the United States we visited; all have the option of choosing the form of
government that best suits their needs and problems. In our country the
regulations that determine how a local government is formed are very strict
over what type of government a municipality may have. There are certain
problems that a certain municipality may have that another doesn’t that can’t
be resolved by that form of government.
BROCKMAN: Do you have enough
resources for your city?
JANEV: [via a translator] There
are great potentials to build and develop a strong and wealthy municipality
where I live. But the current law and current form of local government doesn’t
allow it because we have a strong centralized national government. At this
moment there’s legislation in procedure at the National Parliament and we
expect the new laws, when they are passed, will enable us to build such a
strong and wealthy municipality and utilize those resources. With the new law
we expect the municipality will become the foundation of the government and the
[sound of a vehicle driving along a road, then a
BROCKMAN: This small Iowa town is
home to a large turkey processing plant. At first the town might appear to have
little in common with any of the cities the Macedonian mayors represent, but
over coffee and cookies with West Liberty Mayor William Phelps they quickly
find common ground.
It’s 54 percent diverse population. It’s mainly Hispanic and Laotian. The city
has been diversely populated for many years. In fact, some of the Hispanic
families are now in their third and fourth generation. We interrelate with each
with common community goals. That brings us together as a city and we do not
actually realize the strains of racism or ethnic backgrounds. We started to
preserve our brick street heritage with volunteers that actually built two
blocks of street this past summer. We had 43 organizations from town volunteer.
All the churches and Latino volunteer groups and some of our organizations that
exist for public service. Each organization laid in place 2,400 bricks. These
are the kind of projects that make your community strong and that helped take
down the barriers of ethnic and diverse groups. We encourage community events,
local festivals, both in separate cultures and in one common culture.
PHELPS: OK, enough about our city.
Now, back to the diverse populations. Do several of you face a concern or
challenge in your cities with diverse population?
MACEDONIAN MAYOR: [via a translator] All of Macedonia found itself in such a situation.
In the last five or six months we have been in this situation. And I believe
that finding forms of uniting people are very important. Very important among
the multiethnic, of multiethnic backgrounds.
BROCKMAN: For the most part the
visiting mayors ask Phelps questions about how he runs the city. They discuss
everything from the city’s budget to the local police force to a list of
property the city owns. But it’s this question from one of the mayors that cuts
to the heart of local government in a democracy.
MACEDONIAN MAYOR: [via a translator] Since the United States is considered to be one of
the most democratic countries in the world, the question is how do your
citizens participate in the decision-making process?
PHELPS: All of our council meetings
are open meetings to all the public. We also televise on a local cable access
channel, every council meeting. We advertise and hold community meetings for
major projects in the works.
BROCKMAN: After six cities and
numerous stops along the way, the Macedonian mayors say they are anxious to
return home. They want to use the wealth of ideas they found in the US.
MACEDONIAN MAYOR: [via a translator] Your country is a very good friend and it helps a
lot our small country. And your country has enabled us to have this visit. And
we are certain that, that what you talked about, which is one of the most
important issues, which is the interethnic relations, is something we’re
certain that, it is something we will know how to preserve and build from.
BROCKMAN: Perhaps diplomacy at this
grassroots level is a powerful tool for both countries. For Common Ground I’m Cliff Brockman.
GEORGE GLAZER: You have to engrave the
paper map. You have to be able to create the sphere. You have to be able to
create the stand and the brass and everything else.
MCHUGH: Spinning the globe, next on
MCHUGH: The Upper East Side of
Manhattan is one of the most elite neighborhoods in America. At the corner of
72nd Street and Madison Avenue, a Ralph Lauren store sells $800 barn jackets
and $7,000 fox fur bedspreads. Right next door is the George Glazer Gallery,
America’s leading dealer in antique globes and maps.
PORTER: When Kristin and I arrived
at the Glazer Gallery I expected oak walls, plush carpets, and soft lighting.
What we found instead looks more like the overcrowded attic of an ancient
geographer. As we walked up the steps to the small third-floor space, George
Glazer himself met us at the top of the stairs.
GEORGE GLAZER: Maybe we should get some
stuff out of the way so it doesn’t sound like when I’m doing it, I’m fumbling
[sound of Glazer fumbling around his shop]
PORTER: Glazer spent years as an
antique furniture dealer in one of Manhattan’s prestigious auction houses.
While there he fell in love with globes, particularly American-made globes.
Nine years ago he opened this gallery, and despite its cluttered nature the
collection is impressive.
GLAZER: Globes have so many things
that are interesting about them. They have world geography, of course. They
relate to astronomy. They relate to world politics. And they have interesting
decorative art stands that are a product of the art period in which they were
PORTER: Do you see globes mostly as
scientific instruments? Or are they decorative arts?
GLAZER: Well, the interesting thing
about globes is that they are part and parcel of a few different things. They
are decorative arts, and so they are decorative objects. They are also partly
map. ‘Cause, and they have something called globe gores, which is the engraved
map that is created in a certain way so it’s laid on the sphere. And then they
are also scientific instruments because you could do scientific calculations
with them. You could figure out world time, aspects of astronomy, aspects of
the zodiac, things like that. So they’re really a combination of all three.
Which is one of the reasons why they’re, they’re fairly esoteric. They don’t
fit into one definite category. So typically for collectors or dealers they are
a side thing. If a map dealer might have a few globes, or a scientific
instruments dealer might have a few globes, or a furniture dealer might have a
few globes. But because they are a part of all of those different areas none of
them specialize in them as such. And that’s one of the things that I decided to
do. ‘Cause I thought, that ultimately a globe is the most interesting
collectible, the most interesting decorative arts object you could buy because
it does combine all of those things.
PORTER: When were globes first
produced, in what we would think of today as America?
GLAZER: Well, the first actual
production of globes where they were manufactured, as opposed to maybe a
one-off thing where somebody just drew a globe, would be by James Wilson, who’s
considered America’s first globe maker. Wilson was a Vermont farmer and
blacksmith, and he was determined to create a globe in the United States that
would be on a par with British globes. The reason being that British globes he
thought were—for one thing they were too expensive to buy in the United States.
And for another thing they didn’t show the American West and the development of
the American West in any sort of accurate detail. Then he learned all of that
and he, it was a true American production. He made his own globes. And these
globes are still around. They’re rare, but they’re not overly expensive.
PORTER: Do you have a Wilson globe
GLAZER: This is a James Wilson
globe and you could find something called the “cartouche” on it, which is on a
lot of globes, and that is the maker’s name and insignia. Here it’s called a
“New American 13-inch Terrestrial Globe,” it says, “Exhibiting the greatest—exhibiting
with the greatest possible accuracy the positions of the principle known places
of the earth, etc.” He also talks about the fact that in the cartouche that it
has the tracks of the various circumnavigators and new discoveries down to the
period 1828. And it’s signed by “J. Wilson & Sons, Albany Street, New
York.” See, a lot of the globes from the period were showing the new
discoveries that were still being made or that had recently been made in the
late 18th century. Captain Cook and in the mid-18th century, Admiral Anston
were doing explorations. And a lot of times on American globes, still in the
19th century, you’ll see the paths or the tracks of their expeditions.
PORTER: For our radio listeners,
can you give us sort of an overall description of this globe we’re looking at
GLAZER: Well, it’s a 13-inch
sphere. It’s got paper gores, which are—a gore is just a technical name for the
engraved paper that is placed on the sphere and it has to be cut in a certain
way. Then it’s set within a brass ring called the meridian and it’s on a nice
turned wooden stand. And the varnish has yellowed so it has that old world
parchment look to it. And then some of the tones of the greens on the globe
have oxidized—that’s what happens to green over time. So, it has an antique
look to it. Here in the United States you see that most of the West is just
called “internal provinces,” really relating to Mexico. And in the Northwest,
up where Washington state and Oregon would be now, it’s just called “Missouri
Territory,” the Missouri, named after the Missouri River. It goes all the way
PORTER: Just roughly, what would
you expect to pay for a globe in this shape, from this era?
GLAZER: This Wilson globe is about
$8,000. So they’re fairly expensive. On the other hand, if you think of it in
terms of the importance of the globe, that it’s America’s first globe maker and
that it’s relatively rare, I think that it’s actually a fair price for it. But
globes can—if somebody is interesting in collecting globes they can have globes
from the 1920s or pre-World War II period for far less money, for $100 or $200;
and then globes after World War II are really inexpensive. It has a lot to do
with how common they are.
PORTER: If we were to look at a
British globe from the same time period what would be, what would we see
differently out here in the western part of the United States at least?
GLAZER: Well, the British globes
were much slower to follow on the American West, especially in the early
period. Although really in later, in the mid-to-late 19th century the British
did catch up. Indeed, a lot of American globes in the mid-to-late 19th century
were made by W. & A.K. Johnston, which was a British maker. But there are
some funny things that you can see sometimes. I’ve seen an early 19th-century globe
that calls the American, the east coast, the colonies, the British colonies,
even though we had won our independence long before that in the 18th century.
The British globes also might tend more to show the British, the British
Empire. And here’s a globe from—this is jumping up a hundred years now—but a
globe that I’m pointing to now is from the 1930s. This globe has in its
cartouche, it says “The Commonwealth of nations in red.” And this was a time
when they were showing the extent of the British Empire. And subsequently in
the 1960s and ‘70s, even actually in the post-World War II, right around the
time of, of divisions that were being made after World War II as part of the
various treaties, a lot of these nations received independence, or achieved independence.
And so now the British Empire as such would look a lot different.
PORTER: The old saying about “the
sun never sets on the British Empire,” this globe would prove that point?
GLAZER: Well, at this time that was
so. But now with, you know, even to recently with Hong Kong receiving
independence from Britain, this is, this is a concept that was really more of a
mid-19th to, I would say World War I, pre-World War II concept. And it’s not
one that seems applicable in the world today.
PORTER: George, let’s turn around
this way and look at some of these other examples you’ve set out for us here.
GLAZER: Well, this globe is called
“News of the World,” which is applicable to your program. I’m told that “News
of the World” was a, was and is a newspaper in Britain. This is a British
globe. It’s called the “News of the World Business Globe,” from the 1930s. It’s
showing steamship routes around the world. So as you get into the 20th century
there’s an attention paid on globes to aspects of transportation, travel, international
communications. Frequently you’ll see famous airplane flights like Lindbergh’s
cross-Atlantic flight in 1927. Or the flights of the Graf Zeppelin, things like that. You’ll see steamship routes, which
were important for international commerce. And you’ll also see airplane routes
as international—national and international—air travel developed starting in
PORTER: I think that we hear so
much here at the start of the 21st century about globalization. But you see a
globe like this and you, you recognize it as a concept that really has deep
GLAZER: Yes. I think people thought
of a lot of these things earlier. The concepts of internationalization of the
world, globalization. And they were excited in the 1920s and the ‘30s with the
idea of the shrinking world and how it all would become accessible. Because
that was a new concept at the time. It has different aspects today with
Internet and mass communication that have taken on different types of meaning
or are advanced concepts of that. But these globes relate to, as I said, to
transportation and also to communications. You’ll see the Atlantic cable. And
these were exciting—which was in the 19th century, they built the, they put a
cable between Europe and the Northeast for communications. And these were very
exciting concepts at the time—that you could communicate with Europe relatively
quickly. And they were new concepts. Now we take a lot of these for granted.
PORTER: George, one of the things I
really like here is this little globe. At the bottom it says, “World Bank.” Now
we know what the World Bank is today, but I don’t think that’s what they meant
at the time.
GLAZER: Right. This is just a world bank, not the World Bank. And globes could be objects, because they are a
sphere and a lot of things—utilitarian objects—are in the form of sphere. You
can make them serve two purposes. This is an American globe from about 1880 by
the Shedler’s, who were German immigrants to the United States. And the globe
gores are on a hollow iron sphere with a little slot and you put money in it.
It’s a little coin bank. And they called it the—it says right on it—they called
it the “World Bank.” Again, there are early concepts of international commerce
involved there. It’s not pure coincidence that they selected that idea.
This globe here is called “The Magnetic Air Race
Globe.” It was made by Replogle, which is an American manufacturer that’s still
in business, from the 1950s. And it has, it’s just a tin globe with a very
brightly colored blue oceans. And it has these little airplanes that are
magnetic so they stick to metal globe.
[sound of metal clinking on metal]
GLAZER: You can hear them sticking.
And there’s play money, and there’s little cards, and so this was for children
who were interested in world geography and in aviation.
PORTER: You mentioned the way the
globe changes after war. You mentioned World War I and World War II. I’m sure
many of us and many schools in America still have globes that were created
before the end of the Cold War as well.
GLAZER: Well, there are globes—of
course a lot of globes were made in the ‘60s and ‘70s, they were mass produced
in this period and they are still around and they show divisions in the—of
course they show the Soviet Union, which is now divided into different countries.
Things like that. Especially with the end of the Cold War. So they would be
antiquated in that sense, if they were before the breakup of the Soviet Union.
And one of the ways you can tell globes from the early 20th century is you look
and see whether it shows St. Petersburg. And if it shows St. Petersburg the
globe was before 1914. So that helps to identify it. And then if it shows
Petrograd it’s about 1914 to 1924. Thereafter it was Leningrad. And so then
back in the 1990s it goes back to St. Petersburg again, as Russia becomes a
PORTER: All this talk about globes
may have gotten our listeners thinking about globes that they have in their
house or globes that they have in their attic or their parents’ attic. What are
the things that people could look for on a basic globe that would let them know
whether or not it was something of value, or just sort of a run-of-the-mill,
mass-produced kind of globe?
GLAZER: If you have an idea about
the value of antiques in general and you’re familiar with that you could use
your general knowledge of antiques and most of that would apply. Mostly globes
that were made after World War II are not terribly valuable. Of course there’s
going to be exceptions to everything. Mostly globes that were made in the 19th
century or earlier do have good value. Collecting depends upon a lot of
factors. It depends upon rarity; it depends upon the condition of the globe. In
order to begin to get an idea of what the globe might be, you would look for
the cartouche on the globe, to see who the maker’s name was and see if it was
dated. Unfortunately, in the 20th century they tended not to date globes, for whatever reason. So you might look at a
globe and say, “Well, I don’t really know whether this was made in the ‘20s or
the ‘40s or the ‘60s.” And so then what you would do is you’d look for certain
geographical aspects of the globe that would, would indicate to you when it was
made. For example, if you see Israel on it, it’s after World War II. And you
could look at the nations in Europe or Africa or whatever part of the world
you’re familiar with and see how the place names have changed. And for that you
would be able to figure out more or less when the globe was made.
Also, sometimes you might look on a globe and see something,
like for example Arizona, which wasn’t a state until around 1911. But it will,
it will show on a globe that was made before that date. They just didn’t bother
to say that it was a territory. So it can be a little bit confusing. Oklahoma
is Indian Territory, would be before 1907. That’s another way to tell. Russian
America for Alaska would be before 1869. Also, if you knew who the maker was.
Most makers were active in certain periods. Also, the style of the stand would
give you an idea of the dating of it. And then once you have identified, then
you try to look for similar ones on the market. Sometimes what people can do is
there’s a lot of Internet auctions now, including Ebay, and a lot of more
common globes, a lot of globes from the 20th century that just happened to be
sitting around turn up on there. And you could go on there if you want to
collect globes; it’s a place to buy them. But the buyer has to beware because,
you know, you have to have knowledge of it if you’re going to be buying it at
an auction. But you can also look on there and see what other people are paying
for them and get some idea of the current price range, at least in the auction,
at least in the online auction market.
PORTER: To learn more about globes
and about George Glazer, visit him online at www.georgeglazer.com. Glazer is
spelled “G-l-a-z-e-r.” For Common Ground,
I’m Keith Porter.
Our theme music was created by B.J. Leiderman. Common Ground was produced and funded by the Stanley Foundation.
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