A day after the National Theatre’s demolition, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama made public the project for the new Theatre building. Rama expressed his confidence that every citizen will like the new building.
He claimed that he is now used to the antagonism of the same group of “professional troublemakers” that smear everything.
The new Theatre building will be constructed following architect Bjarke Ingels’s project commissioned by Fusha shpk, alongside the project for the high-rise buildings behind the Theatre. The project for these new buildings will not undergo public competition.
It remains unclear why a project commissioned by Fusha shpk will be simply awarded, free of charge, to the Tirana municipality. A likely answer is that Rama was always the one hiding behind the National Theatre project, with Fusha shpk being the predetermined client set to cooperate with Bjarke Ingels.
In fact, in 2018, in an interview with Top Channel, Ingels admitted that he had begun working on the National Theatre project since 2016, having been invited by Prime Minister Rama and Tirana mayor Erion Veliaj to participate in the competition.
Exit News asked for information regarding the competition Ingels was referring to but, despite repeated freedom of information requests, received no confirmation that such a competition existed.
When approached by Exit for further information, Bjarke Ingels Group cited a non-disclosure agreement it had signed with the Tirana municipality.