The Municipality of Tirana has seized posession of the Sarajet building in Tirana, just months after a mysterious fire ripped through the ground and first floor.
The decision was made by the Council of Ministers who said the owners, one of which had refused to sell would be compensated with 252,314,551 lek, equivalent to EUR 2.06 million.
Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj reacted to the decision by writing on social media that the building will become a city museum to “evoke tradition and diplomatic history”.
Sarajet was built by Selim Pasha Toptani between 1833-1840 and is one of the few remaining in the city that demonstrates Ottoman architecture. It was declared a cultural monument in 1963.
Despite the refusal of one owner to sell up, the Municipality has gone ahead and expropriated the property.
Plans for the center of Tirana, seen by Exit, include a 45-storey tower planned for the site of Sarajet. The National Theatre, houses, and other buildings have been destroyed nearby to make way for other towers. Activists believe that the municipality will eventually proceed with building towers and large high-rises on the site, rather than leaving it as a museum.
You can read more on Sarajet here.