The National Theater becomes property of the Municipality of Tirana. With a decree of the Council of Ministers of May 8, on the proposal of the Ministry of Culture, the theater and its land of 5.522 square meters are transferred to the ownership of the municipality.
The goal is to build a new contemporary building, according to the decree published in the Official Journal. However, in article 2 of the decree, it is stated that the Municipality of Tirana is forbidden to change the destination of the property, alienate it or deliver it to third parties for use.
The demolition of the worn building of the National Theater and the construction of a new theater with European and modern standards has caused numerous protests by the actors themselves and civil society. However, the actors also split on the subject between those who want a new and worthy theater and others who want to restore the old building.
After two years of protests, the Municipality of Tirana decided to build the new National Theater instead of the existing one with funds from the state budget, breaking the concession agreement with the company "Fusha.sh.pk", thus using state funds for the construction of the National Theater and no longer by private investors. The Municipality of Tirana itself said that this decision came to meet the needs of the artists.
The change of ownership somewhat irritated the Democratic Party which expressed itself in harsh words:
"In the midst of the pandemic, when Albanians are locked up in their homes, the government has passed a criminal decree. With it, Prime Minister Rama passes the area of the National Theater to Mayor Veliaj. Practically treats cultural heritage as a spoil of war. The decree states that a new building will be built, excluding the possibility of rehabilitation. thief blindness pushes the government and the municipality to take this initiative. With this the stubbornness of the central and local government will violently demolish every historical and cultural building. But the theater building will remain standing, not only because there is the soul of a suffering Tirana, but also the heart of a long and fair protest ”Writes the exponent of PD Tabaku.
While the secretary of the PD Basha added:
“At a time when Albanians expect state support, in the moment of the pandemic Edi Rama and his gang are rushing to cancel the theater, to destroy this wealth of culture and historical heritage. The message is clear; even in times of pandemic the only thing they think is to steal and want to do it in the most violent way possible.
Every step towards the demolition of the National Theater is a pure act of war against citizens and not only against art and artists. The answer is not only for the actors but also for the citizens. This is why I invite citizens of the left and right to understand that the red line is at the National Theater. If this power goes to the end of the madness and lights the fire in the theater, the people must be expected to free any usurped institutions. This is my call to Albanian citizens and the opposition. Theater is the red line. The act of war will have the deserved answer "
The President of the Republic addresses the Constitutional Court
President Meta also spoke out against the transfer of ownership of the Theater, alluding to an exceeding of the constitutional limits, and therefore decided to apply to the Constitutional Court, inviting the government and the Municipality of Tirana not to take any further steps until the Court will be expressed.
Rama: no step back
But Prime Minister Rama has announced that he will not step back.
"It's a process I've already spoken to many years ago and I'm the last person you should ask to step back. I am the first to say that from 1998-99, that the building must be demolished and Albania must have a decent theater. All arguments have been exhausted. Everyone has the right to have their own opinions, but in the end the majority decides. We are the majority and we have made this decision and I do not see how certain minorities can impose in any form of decision-making process, which are related to the powers of the government elected by the people "Rama said.
Veliaj: work begins at the end of the year
Meanwhile, the mayor of Tirana, Veliaj, has announced that work will begin at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2021 at the latest.
"We are defining the final details of the project and canceled the previous concession, starting from the requests of the artists as the private company could not do some of the requested things. We will take all the time necessary for the new project, but it will be done. It will be a project by Bjarke Ingels to create a modern theater, where we will avoid going inside with blankets, but there will be a heating-cooling system.
There will be rehearsal rooms and there will no longer be a chicken coop as before. Theater has never been a cultural heritage and has never been declared such. Construction will begin later this year or early next year. The new theater was designed by Bjarke Ingels and no centimeter belonging to the theater will be affected, indeed the area will be enlarged”Said Veliaj.
The Alliance for the Defense of the National Theater: we will take mobsters who want to take over public buildings.
The Alliance for the Defense of the National Theater says that the municipality of Tirana, through the municipal police, sent them a letter asking them to free the building, which is already owned by the municipality, after the approval of the decree of the week last.
But as soon as they saw the police officers, the members of the Alliance got together. The members of the Alliance for the defense of the theater say that they will not withdraw and will also make a big protest with a front to the municipality, so that the mayor Erion Veliaj understands their strength.
While the director Edmond Budina says that they are ready to shed blood and not deliver the building.
"I warn them not to look for bloodshed. See how they arrive as thieves and attack at an inappropriate time. Numerous arrived in a few minutes. I urge you to stay calm. Because we also can lose patience. Take wood those who secretly come as mobsters to take over public property. All Albanians should go out in defense of the National Theater. " Budina says.
Follow Albania News on Google News