Prime Minister Edi Rama has published images of the forthcoming Tirana-Rinas-Durres railway on Facebook.
The problem is that the image used to promote the new line appears strikingly similar to the Doha Metro train design by Qatar Rail. A promotional video uploaded by Qatar Rail in 2016 shows the train passing along a newly finished track with a number of buildings in the background.
This is a screenshot from Rama’s presentation of the Tirana-Rinas-Durres railway.
This is a screenshot from Qatar Rail’s 2016 promotional video.
Rama posted some of this clip, sandwiched between other footage, boasting of the EUR 90.4 million investment and that it will take 12 minutes to travel from Tirana to Rinas.
On February 3, the Minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku signed an agreement with the Italian company INC SPA for the rehabilitation of the Tirana-Durrës railway.
Balluku said that another railway will be built, which will connect the junction with Rinas airport. This railway will be 5.7 kilometers long.
She said that this will significantly enhance transport between Tirana, Durres, and Rinas Airport. Balluku said new jobs would be created, employing 2,200 citizens.
The European Union has provided a fund of EUR 36.65 million for the project.
Exit has contacted Qatar Rail to ask if they are involved in the design process or any part of the project in Albania.
This is not the first time government officials have been caught passing off other projects as their own. In March 2020, Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj used an image of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art as the alleged design for the new University Campus in Tirana. Rama then posted pictures of an airport in Georgia and said it was the Kukes Airport. The project of the National Theatre by Bjarke Ingels also appeared to be a copy of the Busan Opera in South Korea.
Other incidents include the plagiarism of the work of artist Clet Abraham and copying the song “What is Tirana to you?” from the song by the Mayor of London’s office, entitled “What is London to you”?