English

Albania: Will the National Theatre be demolished?


In Albania’s capital Tirana a controversy about the future of the National Theatre is taking place. With a law introduced by Prime Minister Edi Rama, the demolition of the National Theatre, built in 1939 by the Italian architect Guiglio Berté, was decided. But the president of Albania and the opposition are resisting it. They question the constitutionality of the law.
It is explosive that a new building is to be started at the same time. The Danish architectural firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group – declares that it has won an architectural competition for the new building. [here]

However, the client is not the Albanian government but the private construction company Fusha.
The Wiener Standard quotes the critics as saying:

The demonstrators – including well-known artists, the Association of Architects and some directors – criticize Rama’s project not only for its monument protection, but also for the strange invitation to tender, the circumvention of competition law and the little-known plan for the new theatre. There is a suspicion that the private construction company in particular will benefit and that citizens will lose public space. According to the plans, the new building is not to be used primarily for a theatre or other public purposes, but as a commercial space or as office space. Despite several requests to the government, the government has not issued a statement on the demonstrators‘ concerns.

see also here in german.

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