“Stop the abuse of traditional costumes”, Gazeta Shqip
Jan 15, 2013
Top Channel reports according to National History Museum director Luan Malltezi that 1.7 million visitors came to see Skanderbeg’s sword and helmet, between November and January. He stated that 400,000 came on November 28, the day of the 100th anniversary of Independence. Meanwhile, estimates for visitors across the street at the National Library to see Meshari stood between 13,000 – 25,000 people, between mid-November and early December. Obviously, the sword is more popular than the book!
Sept 2, 2012
Workers at heritage sites in Durres claim there have been very few visitors this summer.
Aug 31, 2012
Albanian Screen reports according to data from the National Art Gallery, they receive about 200 visitors per week, with an average of 25 visits per day (40 high, 10 low). Actually, if the gallery is open 6 days a week and averages 25 visits per day, my math puts that number closer to 150 visits.
Lolita Jablonskiene, director of the National Art Gallery of Lithuania, (a country similar in population to Albania) attributes the number of visitors to “an institution’s development”. If an institution remains static, “then the growth in the number of visitors doesn’t move anywhere, either. And vice versa.”
July 26, 2012
Rrapi Mashkullor, a famous tree in Southern Albania has fallen over due to winds and continued cementing around the base of the tree. The tree was over 200 years old, and was a gathering place for Çerçiz Topullit and other patriots of the Albanian renaissance to speak against the ruling of the Ottomans in Albania over 100 years ago. It was a national monument.
This is a second chance (see July 3) to do something creative with the wood from an iconic tree in Albania, such as a carving, totem any number of other ideas. But it is more likely that someone sees this as a good batch of firewood for the winter.
July 15, 2012
Nova Scotia’s Peggys Cove Area Arts Festival over the weekend. Original works from Carol Ann McNeil, Andrea Redmond, Jim Cleveland, J.M Inglis, Patricia Lindley and more. Live and silent auctions, painting in open air at Peggy’s Cove, and studio tours in the region.
July 11, 2012
Balkanweb reports that according to statistics from official sources at the Department of Museums (which does not have an active website), 15,000 tourists have visited the Kruja Castle in the past 2 months, and 22,500 this year. The report seems a little unclear and ‘made-up’, and continues to claim that while Polish, Belgian and other western tourists prefer the Skanderbeg Museum, Czech tourists prefer the ethnographic museum, and large numbers of Russian tourists are expected in the second half of the year. By the way, entrance to the castle is 100 lek, the Skanderbeg Museum is 200 lek, and the Ethnographic Museum is 100 lek…so do the math to get an idea of the site’s ticketed income.
Feel free to contact Odeta Nishani, Director of the ‘Drejtoria e Studimit të Tregut dhe Statistikave të Turizmit’ for more information on these numbers. We do not know if you will get a reply, but feel free to try.
July 3, 2012
Newly inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, continues to show class and culture with the transformation of a damaged 175 year old Elm tree into an artistic attraction. Meanwhile, Tirana mysteriously loses a 200 year old iconic tree in front of the National Art Gallery with no explanation.
August 4, 2011
The President of Albania chose to not decree the law to destroy the International Centre of Culture “the Pyramid”, however, the law will be enacted without his signature.
Artan Lame: “The people of Tirana gave its message in all possible ways. Albania’s greatest figures, the international community, the former Mayor, the current Mayor and the President also gave their message. I don’t know who has to talk to the Prime Minister and convince him to abandon this craziness”.
August 1, 2011
“The Albanian society should be careful about buildings that have been constructed during communism, such as the Pyramid, and there is no reason to take radical decisions.”
The Pyramid is a landmark for Tirana, and its demolition would be a very big mistake in the Albanian history.
July 26, 2011
Tirana Tourist Information Office today has only 1 copy of Tirana in your Pocket , no other cultural, artistic or entertainment guides, and when asked if they had any other information about the city, their reply was “You can go to the book store and buy a book about Tirana” All other brochures in the information centre are for businesses including hotels and restaurants. While the information centre had no information, it was nice and cool in there from the air conditioning.
A few thoughts on the ongoing tv/radio programme “Welcome Mr. Ambassador” on Club FM/ Club TV, and sponsored by the Albanian Ministry of Integration, The EU and the German Government:
1- The German Ambassador is female, yet the title of the programme her government is supporting is MR. Ambassador. Among other states with female ambassadors to Albania include: UK, France, Macedonia and Switzerland.
2- The station Club TV, which airs “Welcome MR. Ambassador”, also airs an afternoon segment entitled “Black Music”, which features R&B and Hip Hop songs from Black artists. So, after watching a racially designed and racially named programme in the afternoon, you can tune into a show in the evening with a sexist title, funded by the German State, The Albanian State and the European Union, with aims of “integration”, “understanding” and “development”.
Who knew?! On June 4, a Hiroshima-based civic group presented Albania with a 50kg paving stone hit by the 1945 atomic bombing of the city. The stone is engraved with an image of a Buddhist goddess of mercy. The ceremony included 100 guests in the garden of the National History Museum, where the stone will be placed near a tree planted in 2003 in commemoration of a visit by Mother Teresa years earlier.
May 28, 2011
Speaker of the Parliament, Jozefina Topalli, suggests that Parliament should offer a special fund for buying works of the best Albanian painters, “giving a new dimension to the Albanian Parliament”. Her idea was supported by painter Ali Oseku and National Art Gallery Director Rubens Shima. Topalli also invited Oseku to open an exhibit on the premises of the Albanian Parliament.
If the parliament is to become an art depository, who will be the curator? Who will manage the collection? What will the annual budget be for acquisitions? Will the collection be accessible for all to see? Why not just close the National Gallery and move the collection into the Parliament?! (That last one was sarcastic…but not un-imaginable in Albania today!)
May 5, 2011
Venice Biennale 2011 vs. Onufri 2008: Four of the five artists going to the 54th Venice Biennale were also selected in the Caldura curated 15th Onufri Prize. Two were selected in the 14th Onufri, co-curated by Caldura and Rubens Shima. Three of them live and work abroad.
Venice Biennale 2011:
Artists: Orion Shima, Gentian Shkurti, Eltjon Valle, Driant Zeneli, Anila Rubiku
Curator: Riccardo Caldura
Commissioner: Parid Tefereçi
Artists: Orion Shima, Gentian Shkurti, Eltjon Valle, Driant Zeneli (10 other participants)
Curator: Riccardo Caldura
1st Prize: Driant Zeneli
Artists: Orion Shima, Eltjon Valle
“The fact that Caldura is now for years committed to the Albanian art scene is a great advantage. He has launched many artists in Italy and he knows pretty well how the crazy world of contemporary art functions,” said Albanian commissioner to the Venice Biennale, Parid Teferici.
How are Albanian artists doing in the ‘crazy world of contemporary art’? Why do people think “Artists in Albania are nominated from above; they are not selected in a transparent way,” ?
“The selection of the artists is a process that has to do directly with the relationship of curator to artist,” Shima said.
Clearly! (…we say sarcastically)
“Albania did not participate in this Biennale in 2009, and maybe this happened because of the lack of a strategy from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport, which would fix the obligatory participation of Albania in this activity once in two years,” said Director of the Gallery of Arts, Rubens Shima.
As director of a National institution, it is not likely in your job description to pass the blame on to the ministry. Was a National Art Gallery plan for 2009 submitted to MTKRS protocol discussing the gallery’s strategy and recommendations including biannual participation in Venice? What was the reason given by MTKRS for not funding participation in 2009? What are the costs, and how are they distributed among artists and support staff? Are contracts made, and insurances paid?
In any case, best wishes to the Albanian Pavillion at Venice 2011.
(related: Onufri Participants: 1993-2010)
March 29, 2011
It is official…the government will destroy the Pyramid, Albania’s National Cultural Centre. Following the second competition for a new parliamentary building in as many years, this time headed by Speaker Topalli, a winning design has been chosen. This comes months after the government spent nearly a million euro renovating the current assembly, as well as having already invested 2 million euro in the rennovation of the now condemned Cultural Centre. The space is currently being used for parking, and there are no plans for a new cultural centre.
For a related article, have a look at a piece from Domus Magazine last month: http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/beyond-narcissism/
March 20, 2011
While visiting the grave of Ibrahim Kodra, Prime Minister Berisha states:
“Being here I cannot help saying one or two words about the great honor the leading figures of the visual arts make to the nation, but even the problem that the failed painters cause. Here, at Ibrahim Kodra’s tomb, is the place I can pray for God to save the Albanians from the failed painters. Let them deal with other things like colors to paint apartment blocks, but leave painting to the leading figures.”
Hmm, we know what he is refering to about the painted appartment blocks, but failed painters and leading figures…? How can you possibly try and develop a new generation of artists when saying “leave painting to the leading figures”?
Lets just say this: Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime, The Red Vineyard, which was bought by Anna Boch. Lets not forget Vermeer, Gauguin and El Greco, to name a few artists who were also under-appreciated during their lifetimes. So, according to our own Prime Minister, who is apparently also an art expert, Van Gogh and the rest should have never pursued painting, since they were never “leading figures”.
March 10, 2011
Something thats been on our minds for a while…wouldn’t it be great if people in Albania worked in a position where they were knowledgeable and skilled, in a field that reflected their education and experience perhaps?
Here are two brief profiles of Albanian Ministers, who are obviously not in suitable positions for their skills:
The Albanian Minister of Defense, Arben Imami:
– Graduate of Higher Institute of Arts, Tirana
– Former professor at Academy of Arts
The Albanian Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport, Ferdinand Xhaferaj:
– International Relations at US Naval Postgraduate School
– National Security Issues at US Naval Postgraduate School
– National Security Issues at Albanian Defense Academy
– Lecturer at Albanian Defense Academy
– Albanian Delegation to Parliamentary Assembly of NATO
Feb 15, 2011
Festive PM wins competition again (though appears to have been the only entry)! Yesterday, as lovers celebrated Saint Valentine, and so did PM Berisha. While it is unclear why he decorated a state institution on a day not recognized by the state, he did it anyways, and serenaded passers-by with ballads and love songs. There was also a meet and greet with a select group of secondary students inside, where each guest received a rose. Oh, and it was also his Grandaughter’s birthday.
Elsewhere, in Malaysia, there was an anti-Valentines day campaign, as the Deputy PM declared that Valentines Day is contrary to Islamic teachings. Iran has banned the production of Valentines related gifts, while Saudi Arabia and the Belgorod region of Russia also banned Valentines Day this year. Indonesia had initially banned the celebration, but retracted the ban in time for lover’s day.
Feb 9, 2011
Gazeta Shqip/ Shqip Newspaper
“…Fier. The bell and icons at the St. Koll (Shen Kollit) church, Daullas village, Libofshe commune have been stolen, and this is not the first time”
*Antiques looting has been happening for 20 years in Albania, and a database of missing objects is very crucial as the protection for Albanian heritage.
Jan. 4, 2011
The First Annual Tirana New Years Lighting Prizes have been awarded!!!
For all the results, click here.
Nov. 29, 2010
Honouring Albanian Heritage: This weekend, nearly every major politician was at the Martyr’s Cemetery in Tirana to pay homage to those who fell in protecting Albania, and to give speaches. The President, the Prime Minister, party leaders, other dignitaries and media were all present. View image below to see what they didn’t talk about.
Nov. 21, 2010
Almost one week to Independence Day, and this is the example of “recycling”.
Martyrs Cemetery, Tirana
November 8, 2010
This weekend, Albania became a lot more blue…in colour. Signs, banners, flags and billboards dot the cities and highways across the country. They are simple, blue in colour, with a circle of yellow stars, and the phrase “Europe without Visas”. There must be thousands, and are on every lamp pole along the main boulevard in Tirana. In addition, traffic lights (not all of which work regularily), have signs fixed to them, making the ‘O’ in EurOpe turn green as the traffic light changes. Maps, direction signs to the European capitals and other travel agency type materials also fill the streets.
On Tuesday there will be a concert in Mother Teresa Square in front of the University of Tirana. Currently, the facade in front of the school is littered with spray paint, and the stairs are a slimy, slippery brown, resembling feces. Also, the fountain in front of the school doesn’t work – and hasn’t for years.
What would you prefer? A clean entrance into a state school, a fountain that works, or a banner telling you what you already know and a concert that probably doesnt really interest you. Maybe you would rather see something completely different too! Have you ever been asked by anyone?
Why not think beyond more banners and temporary propoganda, as well as the colour blue, and think of something more lasting, like a modern public artwork commemorating the Albanian peoples’ hard work and sacrifice over decades of being excluded from Europe? The banners will come down eventually, and Albanians without visas will be an afterthought…but what of the struggle to move about Europe like an equal human being? What will be remembered of the struggle and years of stress and bureaucracy? Will there be anything remaining in a years time to tell the Europeans of what the Albanians endured to be ‘rewarded’ with no visas?
OK, we’re dreaming now…lets get back to the feces-ridden steps at the Tirana University. Our bet is that they remain filth-covered, not just for the concert, but long afterwards. Welcome to Europe, but don’t forget where you live, study and work every day and where you raise your children.
November 5, 2010
Are they serious?
Super Rini-ring nights, Mother Terersa CharityFest??!?!! In 2007, I wrote about the government in Albania abusing the name of Mother Teresa. In 2010, the government did it again, and now look…three large foreign companies (Eagle Mobile, Absolut Vodka and Bavaria Beer) are sponsoring a Mother Teresa charity event by bringing DJs to a nightclub?!!
I really tried to find the connection, but this just doesn’t make any sense at all!!!
November 1, 2010
The family of the Director of the National Art Gallery of Albania, the Shima’s, have recently sold an unregistered 18th century icon at a charity auction in Tirana. This is a very scary indication, that not even the family of the Director of the National Art Gallery of Albania has bothered to register their collection with the National Centre of Cultural Property Inventory, as required by law. Furthermore, the host of the auction was none other than the Prime Minister’s wife, who also did not bother to have the artworks verified.
October 5, 2010
Mother Teresa’s memory / Albanian taxpayers’ money / Albanian Government’s crest / Sali Berisha’s name (and his special care)
September 24, 2010
Months of absurd bureaucracy surrounding the privatization of the Tumulus Kamenica has ended. All involved groups have resloved the matter (who knows how, or at what cost), and the site will re-open on Monday 26 September. Good news for the future of the site, but a wasted opportunity for receiving 2010 summer tourists.
September 22, 2010
This summer, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs Cultural Heritage Center presented the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation 2010 Awards. Among the awards, the Tumulus Kamenica in Korca was selected to receive $54,150. In the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “Cultural heritage serves as a reminder of historical experiences and achievements of humanity. Ancient structures and objects offer important lessons for us today.”
The Albanian response?
The Museum of the Tumulus Kamenica has been shut down since July, 2010. The Tax Office of Korca has indefinetly closed the musuem and request it to be licensed as a private museum. Right now the place is closed and no one is taking care of it. Without maintenance weeds are running wild and no staff is allowed to make repairs.
Specialists that have worked for its discovery and maintenance are worried about the future of the museum. Shega Bezolli the ex care-taker of the museum says that the tax officers have locked the museum and no government representative is showing any interest to solve this issue.
August 30, 2010
UNESCO officials to evaluate Butrint. A new road into Butrint may result in violations of the World Heritage Convention. “The current project lacks a feasibility study and necessary consultation with the public has not been carried out,” stated former park Director Auren Tare. Butrint Foundation Director Brian Ayers says he was not informed of the roadworks, and states “When I did find out what was proposed, I wrote a long email to the Ministry [of Culture], pointing out Albania’s obligations under the World Heritage Convention and detailing the sort of procedures that ought to take place before any construction work went ahead,” he recalled.
“I asked the park director [Ylli Cerova] if he had been consulted about the road, if he had seen the plans for the road, if he had ‘asked’ to see the plans, and he said ‘no’ to all three,” Ayers added.
Cerova was fired as Park Director on August 14 with the justification that an inspection had found the park to be dirty. Other accusations include complaints of financial mismanagement and allegations that after a theater festival in the summer part of Butrint’s Roman theatre was damaged. General decay of the theatre and broken lights in the museum have also been noted.
August 20, 2010
Degrading Icons. Professor Luan Malltezi, current director of Albania’s National History Museum, speaks about the historic icons kept at the National Museum:
“The icons are in the same poor state as the rest of the artifacts in the museum’s collection are and we are not able to give them special care”
Albania has a collection of over 7,000 icons, stored largely in the Museum of Medieval Art in Korca, as well as the National History Museum in Tirana and the Ethnographic Museum in Berat. They are mostly stored in humid warehouses, and are in need of restoration.
So while these items were removed from their original locations to prevent theft and damage, it turns out that they have still fallen victim to damage…maybe theft too….
A cultural dialogue in digital Albania. Wi-fi not included.
Following up on the June 11 post about parrots…Forbes has recently released a new ranking of Happy countries. What do they say are the main factors for happy people (money aside)?
“Day-to-day happiness is more likely to be associated with how well one’s psychological and social needs are being met.”
Here’s what they say about Costa Rica (the happiest country in the Americas and the 6th happiest in the world):
“Costa Rica ranks really high on social and psychological prosperity,” says Harter. “It’s probably things systemic to the society that make people over time develop better relationships, and put more value on relationships. Daily positive feelings rank really high there.”
Daily experience affects your stress and your psychology, hmm…just like the parrot!
June 18, 2010
No more cultural activities in Apollonia (Gazeta Shqip- newspaper)
The director of the archaeological park Apollonia, Mr. Marin Haxhimihali has appealed to the cultural activities taking place in the park, especially to the one by the European University of Tourism in Tirana “Albania is culture” where the contract agreement was not respected and the park was trashed and damaged after the activity everywhere.
June 11, 2010
I was reading about parrots lately. First of all, they say that parrots can have the intelligence of a 2 year old child. I found that “providing him with varying levels of physical and mental stimulation will help to combat boredom and the unwanted behaviors that are triggered by it. Biting, plucking and screeching are all behavioral symptoms of a bored parrot. If left to escalate, any one of these behaviors can become detrimental to the health and well being of your parrot.”
It seems obvious that the same holds true for people. So if we are concerned about keeping a parrot with the intelligence of a 2 yr old stimulated, then it seems natural we should stimulate our society as well. Take a look at the chart below from the Albanian Institute of Statistics. I have circled some decreasing trends.
Based on the data in this chart, since 2004:
National Art Gallery – Less exhibitions, fewer visitors and fewer publications.
District Arts Galleries – Fewer
Monuments of Culture – No increase
National Museums – Fewer
The Rest – No Data (but a decreasing trend).
I would post a similar chart for sports activities, with a general decreasing trend, however the data is current only up to 2004…so theres really no point.
May 29, 2010
Albania, Electricity and the Internet Era.
Estimates in the USA have shown the American internet/electrical consumption to be in the range of 2-9% of the total electrical use. This relates to about 76% of the American population using the internet. Regardless of what is the actual sum of the electrical usage for the internet, this is an increase that Albania should expect, as the number of internet users (currently 20%) grows.
Paying the bills is one of the most basic difficulties in operating a business in Albania, and the same is true for running a household. Plus we never seem to get much service in return for our money.
While the average monthly wage in Albania is just over US $500, the electricity tariffs are outrageous. A month’s worth of minimal electrical use (a. water heater; b. kitchen light; c. computer; d. fridge) costs over US $100 – 1/5 of the average worker’s wage. Add in the water bill, the internet bill, some bread, and rent, and there’s not a cent left!!
The tariff per kw/h in Albania is around 15 cents. Its actually not that high of a price, but in comparison to the wages, it is just too high. Below are a few countries that pay less:
Country kw/h year
Australia: 7.11 (2007)
Belgium: 11.43 (2007)
Canada: 6.18 (2007)
Finland: 6.95 (2007)
Hong Kong: 12.30 (2010)
Iceland: 11.61 (2008)
Malaysia: 7.42 (2007)
Peru: 10.44 (2007)
South Africa: 10.15 (2009)
USA: 9.28 (2007)
Keep in mind that Albania derives most (85-95%) of its electricity from Hydro, which is that cheapest form of electricity to produce.
A few reasons the rates are so high: electricity theft and non-payment of bills. Estimates of 35% of the entire electrical supply was lost in 2007, either from theft or technical problems like poor maintenance. Another factor is that Albanians do not conserve electricity (think about heating and cooling rooms with the door open), or leaving the TV on when nobody is in the room.
At any rate, we pay way too much for power here compared to what we earn, and we can expect these prices to go up before they go down – making business (whatever it may be) more expensive.
March 23, 2010
World class museums such as the Royal British Columbia Museum in Canada and the Natural History Museum in London, England have recently opened their archives to the public. These decisions come as museums stuggle with slumping attendance and deficits, and directors have looked inwards for solutions. Many institutions are opening ‘behind the scenes’ looks at their stored collections as a way to boost attendance without the high cost of ‘blockbuster’ exhibits. Meanwhile in Tirana, the National Art Gallery has just put up more than 80 million euros to insure and display 12 works by Pablo Picasso for the next two months. I wonder when they will finally do a worthwhile exhibit on Ibrahim Kodra – the Albanian artist who’s signature alone was considered to be a work of art by Picasso himself!
Feb 24, 2010
John Withers II – US Ambassador to Albania / Local Celebrity / Arts Manager
He has become as famous in Albania as the president himself. He has also become an arts manager. This month he organized an evening of poetry and music at the Albanian Arts Academy, discussing the history and contributions of African-Americans in America. While there is still no functioning parliament, no functioning legal system and last night a nation-wide blackout in Albania, at least we can sleep easy knowing that Withers II has helped to tell Albanians the story of African-Americans in America.
Feb 13, 2010
Today I went to the Tirana information centre…and to my suprise…Tirana now has tourist brochures! Good job Tirana Municipality. Better late than never!
February 10, 2010
Pjeter Abnori International Cultural Centre
This is what I know for sure.
I know that the pyramid has been closed for renovations for almost two years now.
I know that every evening at 5pm the pyramid becomes a private parking lot.
I know that most, if not all contracts were terminated before their completion and that staff were not paid the remainder of their contracts – an order that was said to be made by the Prime Minister’s Office.
I know that lawsuits have been filed against the director of the pyramid, Muje Bucpapaj.
I know that Muje Bucpapaje (Poet/Cultural Centre Director) has been on television at least a dozen times to talk about elections and his political party, but never have I seen or heard a word from him about the Pyramid.
I know that the building looks like trash from outside, and it doesn’t look like it will be ready any time soon.
What I don’t know, is what is the programme of the Pyramid? When does it open? What activities will go on? What services will be offered? What will the hiring process be? Will it be staffed by people from Tropoje as it was previously?
I know that in the Armenian capital of Yereven, they too have a ‘Pyramid”. Take a look at the picture below and compare the Armenian pyramid with our own….
Albanians, it is time to start asking where your tax money is going, and where is YOUR cultural centre?!!!
October 28, 2009
Almost six months after the Tirana tourist information centre ‘opened’, there is still no tourist brochure for Tirana. Congratulations however to the cities of Durres, Gjirokaster and Vlora, as well as the sites of Mesopotam, Butrint and Dema for the bruchures. Maybe by 2010, Tirana will have its own tourist brochure.
The Albanian Ministry of Culture, Youth, Tourism and Sport – investment plan and budget 2009 (full copy available on MTKRS website)
Acquisition of new artworks for National Art Gallery: 1,000,000 lek (9,000 euros)
Maybe they should look on the TV program ‘Art Shopping’ for some deals.
June 23, 2009-Shekulli newspaper “Propaganda at the National Arts Gallery” by Yllka Lezo. ”
Nëndrejtori i GKA-së, Buron Kaceli, angazhohet në propagandën e Partisë Demokratike dhe prezanton në vendin e tij të punës, Galerinë Kombëtare, “Korridorin e shqiptarëve”. Për këtë punë vullnetare me temë fushatën politike në prag të zgjedhjeve të 28 qershorit, Ministria e Kulturës e mbështet me 5 milionë lekë. Kaceli nuk e fsheh: “Ekspozita, pjesë e fushatës elektorale”
Edhe pak ditë e ndajnë Shqipërinë nga zgjedhjet parlamentare dhe Buron Kaceli, piktor në zanat, aktualisht nëndrejtor i Galerisë Kombëtare të Arteve, del vullnetar në këtë fushatë zgjedhore me ekspozitën “Korridori i shqiptarëve”….
….Kaceli pohon se ekspozita e tij është një kontribut për këtë fushatë elektorale, madje, më tej shton se: “Jam krenar që kjo vepër, rruga Durrës-Kukës, u ndërtua gjatë kësaj qeverisjeje, sepse i përkas kësaj force politike”. Dhe kjo qeveri e ka mbështetur Kacelin me 5 milionë lekë (të vjetra) për të paraqitur një nga veprat më të rëndësishme për Shqipërinë!
June, 2009– Election time in Albania, and no Party has a strategy on the national arts and culture.
June 13, 2009. A huge banner hangs out in front of the facade of Tirana University (Mother Teresea) notifying on the coming art exhibition ‘Rruga e Kombit” (The nation’s road) ORGANIZED by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports. Like many activities “organized” by MTKRS, there is always missing info, and in this one there is no location where the exhibition will take place.
May 2, 2009– Around 2 weeks ago the Municipality of Tirana inaugurated the Tourism Information Center. Great show on TV! Today, we were by the Metropol Theater, of course they had no agenda of activities, and thought of checking this Tourist Center. And…there was no time table, the doors were closed and there hardly seemed to be anything inside, aside a few desks and some folders…..We wonder where those backpackers we saw going toward the train station will find out how to get from here and there and know what’s going on here and there….
April 21,2009– 100 lek per person to enter the castle of Berat?!!…wait till I start standing at the Elbasan Road asking people for 100 lek to come into the neighborhood.
March 26, 2009– Urban Planning. Tirana Mayor Rama has more trees planted, and brings slogans like ‘One Tree, One Citizen’, or ‘No street in Tirana without a tree’. Your street might not have a name, or even be navigable by car, but you’re darn right it will have a tree! Meanwhile after years of bickering and standstill policy, HRM by Design of Halifax, Canada has a plan set to be approved which will limit construction heights in the city to at least 30 per cent below the maximum. In order for developers to reach the height, they must buy the sky to the tune of four dollars per square foot, with a possibility to buy ‘height’ through things like purchasing public art for the space outside the building, the exception being in designated heritage zones. (Note: buy the sky in downtown Halifax, Canada for about 30 euros/sq. metre; buy land in commune of Farke, Tirana for about 50 euros/sq. metre).
March 25, 2009– Tirana. On Top Show, original pages of the Purple Codex were displayed on the “coffee” table of this talk show, where the invited historians, byzantologists, etc, discussed on preservation of the codex and at the same time for the sake of the show did not consider the damage done to the codex by the uncontrolled room temperature and hundreds of lights and flashes around.