The activist group “Active for Durrës” has called upon the private business near Veliera Square to free the public space it has illegally occupied with plant boxes. Placing plant boxes is a well-known strategy of bars in Durrës, often followed by placing tables and chairs on the sidewalk. What makes the situation even worse, is that the public space that is occupied in fact covers a II c. Roman wall, which was recently destroyed by the renovation works on the square.
The citizens protested to the Mayor of Durrës, Vangjush Dako, who has his apartment nearby, to protect public property and the free movement of citizens. Previously, the business in question occupied 1 m of sidewalk, but ever since the Roman wall has been covered in concrete, it has occupied about 5 m of public space, public space that was supposedly part of the Veliera Project that destroyed so much of the city’s archeological heritage.
The walls in which the business operates is in fact a Category 1 Cultural Monument, and it is unclear what contract the owner has with the Ministry of Culture to operate at that site, and whether he is paying any taxes for its use. Part of the wall already was destroyed in 2000 to make place for the apartment block built over it by a developer that has recently become a deputy for the Socialist Party in Parliament.