On Thursday evening, the Tirana Municipal Council secretly approved the demolition of the Albanian National Theatre.
Decision number 50, dated 14 May 2020 states that the building will be demolished based on the expertise of the Institute of Construction. It also states that the Institute of Territorial Defense has the right to surround, enter and then demolish the building. The decision gives no date for demolition but says it will notify the Municipality 24 hours before it enters the building.
The expertise document drafted by the Institute of Construction was drafted only one day before, on May 13, and states the building is not suitable for carrying out activities and that regardless of any renovations, it cannot be made safe.
The subsequent vote on its contents by the Municipal Council is not founded in law.
Firstly the Municipal Council can only take a decision based on something that belongs to the Municipality. In this case, while the land the theatre sits on does indeed belong to them, the building itself does not.
Secondly, the expertise document is an administrative-legal act that can only be subjected to judicial review. A political institution such as the Municipal Council of Tirana does not have any jurisdiction over a legal act put forward by a central government institution.
Thirdly, it’s unclear how the vote took place. No public announcement for the Municipal Council meeting was made public, as required by the law.