Albania’s President Ilir Meta has called the demolition of the National Theatre by the government “a constitutional, legal and moral crime that cannot be granted amnesty.”
In a Facebook post, following the demolition, Meta called the ruling majority and government a “mafia” regime. He blasted the violence against artists and journalists by police, and emphasized that this government act has also destroyed any illusion about the existence of rule of law in Albania.
Following is the President’s full message originally posted in Albanian:
“A few hours ago, at the height of the darkness, MAFIA ordered the destruction not only of one of the most endangered cultural heritage monuments in Europe but also of any illusion of the existence of the rule of law in Albania.
The simultaneous violence against artists and journalists is a black mark on the ruling MAFIA.
This view will be remembered in much the same way as the [communist] dictatorship’s pickaxes in ’67 on churches and mosques.
THIS IS A CONSTITUTIONAL, LEGAL AND MORAL CRIME THAT CANNOT BE GRANTED AMNESTY.”
President Meta has asked the Constitutional Court to review the compliance with the Constitution of the government’s special law for the demolition, as well as the most recent transfer of theatre’s land ownership to the Municipality of Tirana.
Despite the ongoing legal process, the government moved in and demolished the building at 4.30 on Sunday, amidst the emergency situation it has imposed since the November 26 earthquake and the coronavirus lockdown.