The Albanian National Theater is officially part of Europa Nostra’s 7 Most Endangered European Heritage Sites list for 2020.
The Alliance for the Protection of the National Theater, who has spent the past 2 years battling the demolition of the building planned by Prime Minister Edi Rama and Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj, called the inclusion in the list “an important victory”. The Alliance hopes that Europa Nostra will now help lobby and raise funds to pave the way for the building’s restoration.
The 7 Most Endangered program is a civil society campaign to save Europe’s endangered heritage. It aims at raising awareness, preparing independent assessments, proposing feasible action plans to mobilize public and private support. The program was launched in 2013, and it is organized by Europa Nostra, the Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe, and the European Investment Bank Institute.
In January 2020, after the theater was shortlisted for the 7 Most Endangered, Europa Nostra sent a letter to Albanian authorities, pleading with them to cease their attempts to demolish the building. Rama and Veliaj refused to address the letter and kept asserting that the National Theater had no historical value or significance.