Following the news that the Albanian Government has transferred the National Theatre to the Municipality of Tirana, German politician and long-time supporter of the Theatre, Doris Pack has reacted with shock.
a joke?NO!on Europe Day, 9 May, #Rama – disregarding European values, @europanostra judgment-
is washing his hands innocently+ transferring the #NationalTheater to his close friend #Veliaj mayor of #Tirana,who will destroy a cultural heritage building of European interest.
— Doris Pack (@pack_doris) May 9, 2020
In a Tweet, she asked if it was a joke and then pointed out that on Europe Day (9 May), with a disregard for European values, Prime Minister Edi Rama gave the theatre to his “close friend” Erion Veliaj. She said that he will then destroy a cultural heritage building of European interest.
The Albanian government has been planning to demolish the historical site for several years and wants to replace it with a new building and additional commercial units. Citizens have protested every day for two years against its demolition and have pledged to protect it physically when the time comes.
Recently, the National Theatre was placed on the 7 Most Endangered List, created by Europa Nostra to highlight cultural sites that are under threat in Europe. Experts are due to visit the site in due course to assess what can be done to protect it. The European Commission and EU Delegation have voiced support for the initiative and all stakeholders working together.
Veliaj said that it is an Albanian decision and that the internationals have been listening to the hysterics of a noisy minority.