Privatization of Albanian Monuments to be sold, by Tirana for Albanian Boss

Monday, January 30, 2012


Porto Palermo (Panormo) to be sold, by Tirana for Albanian Boss

Mysterious Investments, continue to threaten The Himara Region

The Albanian government has decided to sell about 40 items of cultural monuments of Albanian State, for which the Ministry of Culture, has made ​​nearly sales prices.

In objects that are targeted for privatization, is the castle of Porto Palermo (Panormo) for which efforts are to be bought by Boss Albania, in Tirana.

Development Plan the Himara Region, also includes Castle which is emerging in sale, and tunnels of Albanian Navy submarines.

According to sources from Himara main requirements for privatization, there are several companies that are investing mysterious stains just in tourism development plan of the Himara Region, which is expected to be approved next month in Tirana.

Annyway, the Civil Society, the orthodox Church and Community, stand against the Albanian Government and municipal administration of Himara, for the development of this plan.

As are published, all civil society organizations and communities Himara in the Diaspora, have considered this plan, as economic vassalage and attempt to change the ethnic composition of the Himara Region.31 Jan 12 / 10:43:16

Privatization of Albanian Monuments Opposed

A proposal to sell off some 40 castles and towers has encountered stiff opposition among archeologists and historians.

Besar Likmeta

BIRN Tirana

Albania Castle | Alexandr Zykov/ Flickr

The plan, spearheaded by the head of the Institute of Monuments, Apollon Bace, envisages the sale of 99-year leases to private companies.

These will then have the right to turn the historic sites into bars, cafés and inns while investing in their restoration.

In an interview for the daily newspaper Shqiptarja, Bace maintained that this is standard practice „all over the world“. He says it is also backed by Prime Minister Sali Berisha and the Minister of Culture, Aldo Bumci.

However, the proposal, which could be acted on as soon as next month, has drawn a fierce response from historians, archeologist and architects, some of whom accuse the authorities of failing to safeguard the nation’s heritage.

“The proposal from the Ministry of Culture to give concessions for cultural heritage monuments is an awful idea,” historian Auron Tare said.

“The state’s rejection of its responsibilities for cultural heritage and the transfer of this responsibility to private hands is testimony to the collapse of state institutions,” Tare said,  adding that the consequences “will be unimaginable and unrecoverable”.

The Institute of Monuments has in the past rented two medieval castles to private companies and Tare maintains that the results of this exercise were poor.

“If the authorities cannot even control two single projects, the question is how will they be able to control more monuments?” he asked.

Castle of Clarendon, wie es

geplant durch die Ministerium Mafia rund um die LSI Banden.

Das Ministerium MTKRS Banditen Mafia, Schutz unverändert keine Guter Kultur, Alte Stätten – “Zone Touristik”

28.1.2012: MTKRS – Mafia: SKANDALI: Pse 40 kala dhe monumente të Shqipërisë do të “shiten” nga Instituti i Monumenteve?

update: 20.2.2012

18 FEB 12 / 16:33:34

Privatizing Albanian Castles Worries Heritage Experts

Historians and archeologists oppose plans to let entrepreneurs turn ancient monuments into bars, cafés and motels.

Fatmira Nikolli

 BIRN Tirana

Illyrian and medieval castles in Albania could be soon turned into bars and restaurants according to a government plant to lease cultural monuments to local businessmen. 

According to the plan unveiled in late January by the head of Albania’s Institute of Monuments, Apollon Bace, some 40 monuments would be leased for a period of up to 100 years, mainly because the government is unable to preserve them.

Bace says detailed plans for the use of these monuments will determine which parts of them are suitable for commercial activities and which parts should not be touched.

Rich with monuments dating back to Roman times, Albania has struggled for years to preserve them properly, as government after government failed to invest enough in restoration. 

However, the proposal, which could be acted on as soon as next month, has drawn a fierce response from historians, archeologist and architects, some of whom accuse the authorities of failing to safeguard the nation’s heritage.

They point to the fact that two castles privatized under the previous Socialist government have not been preserved properly, and they argue that other monuments could have the same fate if the latest government proposal is finalized.   

“The Ministry of Culture’s proposal to grant concessions for cultural heritage monuments is an awful idea,” historian Auron Tare said. 

“That the state is rejecting its responsibilities for cultural heritage and transferring this responsibility to private hands is testimony to the collapse of state institutions,” he added. 

Bace, from the Institute of Monuments, declined to be interviewed for this story, but Enton Derraj, an adviser to the Minister of Culture said the accusations made against the project were politically motivated. 

“Any interventions in these monuments will be carried out in accordance with the international treaty on restoration of cultural monuments,” Derraj said.    

The ruins of the Illyrian castle of Akrolisit, close to the town of Lezha were leased ten years ago to a local businessman, Gjovalin Kadeli, now a Socialist MP in parliament. 

For the past decade the ruins have housed a number of mobile phone antennae built on a concrete platform, which preservation specialists say has damaged the site. 

However, Kadeli defends his investment, arguing that what he bought was only a ruin, so talking of a “castle” makes no sense. 

“I bought it lawfully and there was no castle there, just a two- metre-high wall, which they call a castle,” he said. The antennae have been put up on a hill and not on “the castle,” Kadelli added. 

The medieval castle of Lekurs, close to Saranda, has also been the object of controversy after it was leased 12 years ago. The new owners restored it but also added a bar and a restaurant. 

Cultural heritage specialist have complained repeatedly about the restoration of the monument, now owed by Vangjel Tavo, an MP for the Socialist Movement for Integration. 

Lulzim Iljazi, manager of the Lekurs castle and its bar and restaurant, dismisses complaints that the monument has not been properly preserved. The accusers just want the castle for themselves, he says. 

“We have worked a lot on this castle and everything has been done to preserve its historical value,” Iljazi said. 

Gjergj Frasheri, a well known Albania archeologist, says that what has happened with leased out cultural monuments in the past should serve as a lesson. 

He believes transferring more monuments to private hands will be a mistake as Albanians are notorious for carrying out building work for which they have no planning permission. 

“Albania is a country of [hundreds of thousand] of buildings built without permits, where neither the state nor the law punishes people who build illegally,” Frasheri noted.

“Damage to monuments damages our historical record, and it is irreparable and unrecoverable,” he added. 

Auron Tare, historian and former director of the Butrint Archeological Park, agrees. 

“If the authorities cannot even control two single projects, the question is how will they be able to control more monuments?” he asked.

This article is funded under the BICCED project, supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme. 

Europas last Neanderthaler in action: Church Almost Burned in Struga, Macedonia



31 Jan 12 / 12:24:15
Church Almost Burned in Struga, Macedonia

An Orthodox church was set on fire on Monday night in the latest in a series of violent incidents that started when Muslims in Struga took offence at a local carnival.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic


Struga | Photo by: idobi

Unknown arsonists on Monday night set ablaze an Orthodox church near Struga in southwest Macedonia in the latest in a series of ethic and faith-related incidents in the area.

The trouble dates back to a village carnival where locals wore masks deemed offensive to Muslim Albanians.

Firefighters fought till midnight to douse the fire at the St Nicolas church in the ethnically mixed village of Labunishta near Struga.


The information attracted attention as in the last few days tensions have increased in this part of the country, after ethnic Albanians living in this area launched protests due to, as they put it, offenses against them at the recent traditional carnival in the nearby village of Vevcani, in the surrounding of Struga. B92




 Paljenje makedonske zastave

Paljenje makedonske zastave


By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online

Skopje/Belgrade (dpa) – A church caught fire in Macedonia late Monday, as underlying tensions between the Slavic and Albanian population resurfaced, more than a decade after the country tottered on the verge of a war along ethnic lines.

Police were determining Tuesday whether the St Nikola church in Labuniste, a village near Struga in southwestern Macedonia, was attacked by arsonists, Interior Ministry spokesman Stefan Dimovski told the news website.

The incident followed the burning of a Macedonian flag in Struga by Albanians and the raising of Albanian and Islamist flags, in reaction to a local carnival in the previous week in which Islam was mocked.

The ethnic-Albanian mayor of Struga, Ramiz Merko, said Monday that he believed the fire had not been set, and urged the carnival organizers to apologize to Muslims. Most Albanians are Muslim.

Reports said the situation in the area was tense and people were frightened.

Struga is an ethnically mixed town on Lake Ohrid, Macedonia‘s best-known vacation destination. It lies directly on the de facto line of separation between the Slavic and Albanian Macedonian population.

Macedonia had come to the verge of a civil war in 2001, when Albanians – who make up between one-quarter and one-third of the population – rebelled, demanding more rights.

An escalation of the conflict was averted with a peace-and-reform deal brokered by NATO in Ohrid after six months of fighting.

The deal improved the position of Albanians: Albanian was promoted to an official language; a university in an Albanian town was recognized; and the country‘s administrative boundaries were redrawn.

As a consequence, Macedonia‘s population was virtually divided, with Albanians dominating municipalities in the west, along the border with the country of Albania.

Many Macedonians resent the Ohrid peace accord because they feel their country has been lined up for partition along ethnic lines.

Macedonia is governed by a coalition of the conservative Slavic Macedonian VMRO-DPMNE party and the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration. dpa bb ncs hm Author: Boris Babic