Construction Work inside Tirana’s Castle, Another Archeological Zone Destroyed

Another archeological zone in Albania is being destroyed by construction work. In the Castle of Tirana, qualified as class A archeological zone, construction has started of a complex of one-storey shops. The project is called “Tirana Bazaar.”

The architectural plan of the Tirana Bazaar. Source: VNM.
The architectural plan of the Tirana Bazaar. Source: VNM.

The Rama government has undertaken a series of decisions that made the construction work in one of Tirana’s protected zone possible:

  • On December 3, 2009, the Berisha government declares the Castle of Tirana to be a class A archeological zone. Within the perimeter of the zone, the Decision of the Council of Ministers (VKM) only allows the restoration of monuments and the reconstruction of roads.
  • On April 20, 2016, the Rama government decides to allow construction work in the Castle of Tirana, adding to the VKM of Berisha’s government a new article:

Art. 4. The placement of light constructions (wood, glass, plastic, metal) with a maximum height of one storey, which have to be realized away from the walls and other discernible or supposed structures.

  • According to the VKM, the constructions need to be related to archeological activity and are not allowed to damage the underground or the landscape of the zone.
  • On July 22 and 26, 2016, the National Restoration Council and the National Archeological Council respectively approve the “Tirana Bazaar” project proposed by the Toptani family.
The location of the Tirana Bazaar project.
The location of the Tirana Bazaar project.

The surface where the Bazaar will be built is 3,610 sq.m. The building with a surface of 1,621 sq.m. will serve for shops.

The elements that are used for the construction of the structures will be: white terracotta, metal, simple, structural, and transparent glass, and duralumin.

But in fact, as may be clear from the photos of the construction site, a large part of the surface has been covered in concrete.