National History Museum Director Fired after Criticism of Minister Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro and former MHK director Melsi Labi. Source: MHK.

Director of the National History Museum (MHK) Melsi Labi has been fired after openly criticizing the Ministry of Culture.

During an interview for Dritare, Labi complained that the reconstruction works on Skënderbeg Square had a strong negative influence on the visitor numbers of the MHK, because the entrance had become impossible to find.

Labi called the situation “absurd.” He also declared that there is no budget to pay the Scientific Council of the MHK, and that the immediate needs of the museum, including emergency restorations, amount to 70 million lekë. The expected budget from the Ministry of Culture, however, is expected to be 13 or 14 million lekë for 2017.

Meanwhile, millions of euros are spent on the opening of museums like Bunk’Art, where a private company pockets the money. Meanwhile we don’t save the national treasures that we have. It is the duty of the Ministry [of Culture] to support the Museum, because this is taxpayers’ money.

Yesterday Labi, who had been director of the MHK since 2013, was fired by the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry declared that the immediate dismissal was motivated by

the continuing disrespect for the work agreement, causing institutional damage and heavily threatening the principle of responsibility and institutional good faith.

Labi is not the first director to leave disgruntled with the Minister of Culture, Mirela Kumbaro. In July 2016, Ilir Kerni suddenly left as director of the Theater for Opera and Ballet after continuing conflicts with Minister Kumbaro, who also saw the majority of her senior management leave within her first two years in office.