It appears that Prime Minister Edi Rama only speaks out for the protection of cultural heritage when he is in the opposition:
Edi Rama, in November 2010, speaking against the Berisha government’s decision to demolish the Tirana pyramid in order to build the Parliament building:
As a man of culture and art, I cannot accept this terrorism with regards to objects of art, because whatever time they belonged to, and whatever the motivation for their destruction, this remains terrorism.
You are doing the same thing as that Serbian general who, when the Mostar bridge was destroyed, said “Don’t worry, don’t let the world worry, we will make an even more beautiful, older bridge.”
Compare this with his statements as prime minister:
Edi Rama, on April 24, 2016, in favor of the demolition of the “Qemal Stafa” stadium, in order for the new “National Arena” stadium to be built:
Was the old Wembley stadium a cultural monument? Not only was it a cultural heritage gem, but also a historical world football monument. And still, the time came for it to be torn down in order to make space for the new Wembley, because, in its past state, its productivity was minimal, whereas its maintenance cost were extraordinary.
What about “Qemal Stafa”?! Considered a cultural monument only because of its main tribunal’s facade, whereas every other part of it is a monument of vulgarity, degradation, and filth. Its location, at the heart of the capital, is fantastic, our historic chance to have a new national stadium located at the center, instead of outside the city.
No matter how beautiful, the facade cannot justify the costs of its maintenance and all that lifeless emptiness in the middle of Tirana.
Edi Rama, on February 14, 2018, in favor of the demolition of the National Theater:
This discussion is pointless. That that object is still standing is an affront to fate, as it could fall at any moment, it is unfit to be this country’s National Theater building. If it had been destroyed years ago, it would’ve been better, this hasn’t happened in the past, but it will in the future. We will build a National Theater