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 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.
- In violation of the law “on the environmental impact evaluation” no public hearings were held for the inhabitants of the area or interested organizations.
- There is currently nothing public about the Tirana Bazaar project except a Preliminary Environmental Impact Report (VNM) from 2016. According to this report:
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.