The decision to demolish Albania’s National Theatre was approved in secret and was not on the agenda for the meeting of the Tirana Municipal Council.
Tirana Municipal Council member Fabian Topollaj has leaked emails that showed the meeting to vote on the demolition of the National Theater would take place on May 15, at noon.
However, the municipal council published the approval of the decision in the evening of May 14. This, despite the fact that there was no official notice that the council would meet and vote on May 14.
It remains unclear how this decision was taken, that is how the vote took place, if it ever really did, and why it happened 24 hours earlier than the official schedule. An administrative investigation is likely needed to shed light on such a high public interest issue.
According to Topollaj, the chronology of the events was as follows:
- In the morning of May 13, municipal council members were notified by email of an online meeting. Discussion of the National Theatre was not on the agenda of this meeting.
- In the morning of May 14, members were notified by email that, during the meeting, they would vote on the demolition of the National Theatre. The issue would not be discussed but members had to vote by email by May 15 at noon.
- Suddenly, and with no prior notice, in the evening of May 14, the press published the decision of the municipal council that approved the demolition of the National Theatre with 60 out of 62 possible votes for.
- Following the publication of this decision, the Tirana municipality notified municipal council members of an upcoming meeting that would take place on May 18, at 11 am, wherein the construction of a new National Theatre building will be discussed.