After almost two years of work, last week the complete restoration of the Gjirokastër bazaar (Gjirokastra) was inaugurated: an investment of around 3,5 million dollars, more than 5000 restored square meters and properties as never before.
The words of the minister of culture
The minister of culture - who is at the same time deputy of the city of Gjirokastër - told in his speech during the inauguration the fantastic collaboration that took place between the institute of cultural monuments and the American-Albanian development fund, in the implementation of this strategic investment.
"We never had any doubts that Gjirokastër was and is a priority; I think we were very clear with this project, aimed at returning Gjirokastër to the attention that it deserves.
I am very grateful to the American-Albanian development fund. After we successfully managed to redevelop the boulevard of Berat, the bazaar of Kruje, and after starting the restoration work for the Korçe bazaar, they could not hesitate for Gjirokastër. And they did well. - said culture minister Mirela Kumbaro
According to the minister, thanks to this investment the bazaar area has been revitalized and the entire city of Gjirokastër has changed its pace of life.
"I cannot express in words my happiness at seeing that the month of October has arrived and that the streets are still full of people, local and foreigners every night. "- added Mirela Kumbaro.
The inauguration ceremony held in the historic bazaar was also attended by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, and the director of the Albanian-American fund for development, Michael Granoff.
Gjirokastër, a heritage in neglect
However, much still needs to be done in the city of southern Albania. Today around 80 houses in Gjirokastër are uninhabited, increasing the possibility that a leaky roof will affect the wooden structure. However, with a total budget of 2,5-3 million, the city hall cannot adequately address the issue.
Structural modifications to the houses of Gjirokastër have been banned from the 2013. Hopes are placed in the new law on cultural foundations, as well as on tourism after about 20 houses have turned into hotels to welcome visitors.
Only to reinforce all the ruins would need more 1,2 million euros. All cultural heritage actors should take the issue seriously and intervene as quickly as possible, because there are no other cities in the world like Gjirokastër.
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