Europa Nostra urges the Albanian Government to save the National Theatre from demolition

Last week Europa Nostra became aware of the decision taken by Albanian authorities to demolish the National Theatre, one of the most prominent cultural centres in Tirana and an important social and public space in the city.

In a letter addressed to Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Ilir Meta, President of Albania as well as to Ms. Romana Vlahutin, Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Europa Nostra’s Executive President Herman Parzinger expressed its sincere concerns regarding the alarming decision to demolish the National Theatre of Albania, a heritage site of great cultural and architectural importance in Europe.

The National Theatre, constructed in 1938 by the Italian architect Giulio Berté, is an outstanding example of modern Italian architecture from this time period and is the only building of its kind that exists in Albania.

“We disagree with any sentiment that this building has little or no historical, cultural or social value. On the contrary, Europa Nostra believes that the outstanding European value of this public property far exceeds any short-term benefit which stands to be gained by its demolition.”

“In that respect, we urge the Albanian government, the Municipality of Tirana, the Ministry of Culture, as well as all other stakeholders, to reconsider their decision to demolish this European landmark and to explore the possibility of instead providing, at the very least, the most basic renovations to bring the current Theatre up to standard.”

“Europa Nostra also stands in solidarity with the reputable group of conservation specialists, professionals and academics in the fields of science and culture, as well as the many active members of civil society who have so strongly expressed their will to protect the National Theatre from demolition.”

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