From: Alice Taylor
Albanian American Development Foundation Accused of Being Complicit in Denial of Communist Crimes

Albanian organization “Tirona Autoktone” in collaboration with the Pan-Albanian Federation of America has written an open letter to the American Development Foundation to question the decision to donate $10 million to turn the Pyramid of Tirana into a “technology center.”

The letter, sent by Xenita Farka seeks to understand how the AADF reached the decision to give $10 million “to turn the museum built to glorify Albania’s bloody dictator into a slick technology center.” 

The Pyramid which is situated in the center of the city was opened in 1988 as the Enver Hoxha Museum, dedicated to his legacy. The structure was co-designed by his daughter Pranvera, along with several other architects. 

After the fall of communism, it was repurposed as a conference center and exhibition venue. During the Kosovo War, it was used as a NATO base and also by humanitarian organizations. In recent years, part of it is used by Top Channel media while the rest has fallen into disrepair. Several projects were suggested for the site, including demolishing it and building a new parliament building, turning it into an opera theater, and in 2018, turning it into an IT center for youth.

Tirona Autoktone referred to this plan as “egregious abuse that supports the GOA in whitewashing the crimes of the communist dictatorship.” They call on AADF to immediately suspend funds and make the issuance of further funds contingent upon issuing a national apology for the crimes of communism, convening a historical truth and memory commission to deal with the country’s traumatic legacies, and launching a national dialogue that allows citizens to have a  say in the future of the Pyramid.

There has never been a formal apology for the thousands of murders and deaths that occurred during the regime. Furthermore, there are between 6,000 and 7,000 people still missing and no national memorial or day of remembrance. 

Tirona Autoktone and other civil society actors have argued that the site should not be repurposed without acknowledgment of what Enver Hoxha did.

They stated that if the AADF fails to do this, they risk becoming “complicit with official state denial of crimes of communism and the normative abandonment of the victims of communist persecution.”

The letter continues that the Pyramid Project is a human rights violation and an example of the conditions that are making Albanians flee the country in the thousands.

They noted that the Pyramid is on the border of the illegal development already underway in the city.

“The Albanian people deserve an explanation as to how this project evolved, how the AADF intends to rectify a grave error and human rights violations, and a plan for a public planning process that allows the Albanian people to have a voice in determining how the Pyramid may be used to heal the wounds of communism instead of whitewashing and rehabilitating Albania’s dictator,” the letter concludes.

The AADF did not reply to an immediate request for comment by Exit News.