Icons in Albania with a great historic value

TIRANA, Aug. 15 – Wooden icons in Albania date back to the 6th century when they were worked with such a quality that they have resisted long times and weather phenomenon, experts say. The oldest icons in Albania are those

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Albanian-American Association celebrates 60th anniversary

TIRANA, Aug. 5 – The Albanian-American National Organization celebrated its 60th anniversary over the weekend with a series of activities throughout Albania. There were many members, some 500 of them, who had come to the country for the first time.They

Read Full Article

Italian-Albanian new radio station starts in Durres, first karaoke night held

DURRES, Aug. 7 – A new Italian-Albanian radio station started broadcast last weekend in Durres during three days of festivities of a tourist package titled ‘Three days and three nights enjoyment without borders’ held Aug. 10-12. The new radio station

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Mediterranean Vlora 2006 festival held in the port city

VLORA, Aug. 5 – The four-day Mediterranean Folk Festival Vlora 2006 ended last Friday after many groups from Israel, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Montenegro and Albania presented their songs. The concerts were held in three different places in the port

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Rehabilitated the Shen Gjergji (Saint George) church in Korca

KORCA, Aug. 8 – The Shen Gjergji church in the Shipske village in Korca district got rehabilitated from a 100,000 euro private investment from Greece, experts said Tuesday. The work in Shen Gjergj church started two years ago after the

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Prizren international documentary and short film festival held

PRIZREN, Aug. 8 – The fifth edition of the international Festival of the documentary and short films Docufest started Tuesday in the Kosovo town of Prizren. Some 57 films from many countries would compete in seven categories. Twenty-eight other films

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Culture minister cancels construction near Rotonda monument in Durres

TIRANA, Aug. 7 – Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports Bujar Leskaj decided to block the construction of a high building near the Rotonda monument downtown Durres. The decision was based on the law of protection of the cultural

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 15 - Wooden icons in Albania date back to the 6th century when they were worked with such a quality that they have resisted long times and weather phenomenon, experts say. The oldest icons in Albania are those of Sh쮠M쳩 Digitria and Beautiful Doors found at a church near the Prespa lake belonging to the 12th century. In the 12-15th century period icons had such figures as the Saint Mehill at the Mborje church in Korca. They have artistic, historic, religious and national values testifying the country's history and post-Bysantine continuity as a nation. There are well known icons of Onufri and his son Nikolla and those of the second post-Bysantine period represented from Zografet, Shpataraku, Anagnosti, etc. decorative icons like Saint Mary on the chair of the source in Korca and that of Saint Naum at the church of Sh쮠e Premtes in Lushnja are distinguishable from the time. Other names from the middle age are those of Qiprioti and David Selenica.
Since 1977 the icons are under the management of the Institute of the Monuments of Culture as they make up a colossal amount of the Albanian iconographic art. Starting from 1988 the Institute undertook a campaign to collect icons, rehabilitate and then show them to the public. Their greatest part also escaped the anarchy the country was engulfed in 1997 following the collapse of the pyramid investment schemes where Europe's poorest population lost its life savings. In February 2000 a considerable number of the most distinguishable icons was transferred at a secret location to protect them. 
Now they may be found at the Onufri museum in Berat, considered as their center in the country. It was built in 1985 at the Berat castle and shelters some 120 icons of great artistic, historical and documentary values. Some of the icons there are that of "Sh쮠Antoni" and "Gjon Pag컯ri" of Nikolla Onufri, "Sh쮠M쳩a with Christ" anonymous from the 16th century, "Sh쮠Mihali" of 17th century, "Seven Saints" of 1733, etc.
The National Museum of Middle Aged time in Korca has some 6,000 icons and 1,000 metal and wooden objects of some 150 Albanian authors. Some 30 icons are rehabilitated annually and more than 300 are chemically treated to preserve them. Many of them are made from Onufri, Zografi, Shpataraku, etc. another pavilion with icons is at the National Historic Museum in central Tirana since November 2000. it has some 80 icons of Onufri, Onufer Qiprioti, David Selenica, Zografi, Kostandin Shpataraku, Mihal Anagnosti, Vellezerit ȥtiri, etc. that is conceived as a big church starting with a great icon 13 meter long. Another group of icons stays at the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana and the National Museum Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg in Kruja.
During the post-communist period after 1990 hundreds of icons have been stolen in the towns of Korca, Voskopoja, Delvina, Kruja, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Tirana etc and either sent abroad or sold secretly. One of the greatest thefts was that in 1998 of the 500-hundred years old icon of Saint Mary church in the south, a gift from Ali Pashe Tepelena to the villagers of Sopik for their loyalty. it was a view of Saint Mary and her son Jesus Christ engraved in nut wood and silver. It was discovered two and a half years later. According to the sayings it has been stolen many times, starting with the Turks more than a century ago.
There have also been some positive cases like that of the return to the Kruja museum of three icons stolen in 1995, but hundreds others are still 'at large' experts say.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 5 - The Albanian-American National Organization celebrated its 60th anniversary over the weekend with a series of activities throughout Albania. There were many members, some 500 of them, who had come to the country for the first time.They visited Kruja, Korca, Durres, Saranda, Butrinti, Lezha and other places. They culminated with a party with all top Albanian leaders, politicians and senior officials. "Albanians are among the oldest people in Europe, an indisputable part of its culture, tradition and political history and that is why your return here would be back into a family," said President Alfred Moisiu.
Head of the Albanian-American Fund Jeffrey Griffin spoke about the launch of the American Bank of Albania, and the participation in the rehabilitation of the Mother Teresa international airport as the two best cases of investment. "You have great possibilities and advantage to invest in this country," Griffin told the members. "But you should stay here longer. Investment in Albania cannot be done coming here for a week and looking for a partner. Every week changes occur and laws change and you should be here to speak with the people."
Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that "your voice and stand have been very important in the U.S. stand toward Albania." Berisha also spoke about the government priorities, which he defined as creating Albania as a secure place, fighting against organized crime and corruption, and making Albania the most attractive country for foreign direct investment. He said that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was his example, comparing him a prosecutor who managed to destroy the Mafia in the U.S. Berisha said that the main goals are Albania's integration into NATO and the European Union.
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                    [post_content] => DURRES, Aug. 7 - A new Italian-Albanian radio station started broadcast last weekend in Durres during three days of festivities of a tourist package titled 'Three days and three nights enjoyment without borders' held Aug. 10-12. The new radio station has offices in Salento in Italy and also in Durres. It will also have its Internet website.
Festivities will also be broadcast live in the Sant Orazio square in the Italian town of Lecce and the Otranto castle in big screens. Some Italian folk groups from Salento region in southern Italy will come to take part and also taste the Albanian cooking and welcome. An Italian group of tourists came to visit Durres cultural heritage places. Organizers aim to turn it into an annual festivity, according to Durres prefect Klodian Pajuni. There will be many concerts, competitions and other activities organized from Albanian authorities and the Italian ones. There will participate Italian groups of ethnic music like Opa cupa, of youth music Nini d'arac or alternative music Apre la classe with Italian tenors Corrado Amici, Gulielmo de Filippo and Sergio Pannagia, who come under the assistance of the pianist Aksinja Xhoja. There will also be Albanian music groups and singers like Nora Istrefi, Tingulli 3 and West Side Family.
The annual summer festivities 'Crazy in Salento' is dedicated to Durres this year, according to Klodiana Cuka, head of the Italian association "Arte e comunicazione." Activities also aim at urging Albanian immigrants to Italy to return to their homeland.
The port city of Durres also has followed the karaoke concerts at the Taulantia square with the participation of young and amateur singers. Denis Hasa and Enxhi Vala were winners of the first three-hour evening, according to Driada Dervishi, head of Aleksander Moisiu theatre. Participating were also well known singers like Bujar Qamili, Eranda Libohova and Poni and also humor actors Muharrem Hoxha and Roland Ko衮 The karaoke concerts will be held in two other weekends.
Many cultural activities have been held in Durres this summer. 
Durres residents and tourists also tasted and applauded the concert of the violin players from Greece of a group named Bridge from Athens. They played parts from Mozart, Shostakovich and the Albanian composer Hajk Zaharian. The Greek quartet was made up of Vaso Papa (Albania), Svetlana Sheveleva (Uzbekistan), Mikhail Smirnov (Russia) and Yannis Pavlidis (Greece) and other players from the "Camerata" and "Friends of Music" orchestras and from the Athens state orchestra. Austrian and Italian players had participated in similar events before. Albanian players in immigration will end the festivities.
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                    [post_content] => VLORA, Aug. 5 - The four-day Mediterranean Folk Festival Vlora 2006 ended last Friday after many groups from Israel, Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Montenegro and Albania presented their songs. The concerts were held in three different places in the port city and concluded into a joint one at the Sports Palace. The ceremony of awards was held at the Naval Academy. No prizes were planned at the festival that served more as a presentation of the folk values from different countries. "The goal of this festival was the promotion of the tourist resources in Vlora, of its cultural and folk values, and also of the participating groups," said festival head Istref Dobi. Holding it in different open areas attracted many spectators. There were also held expositions of photos, parades of folk costumes. President Alfred Moisiu hailed the festivities at the end. The festival was funded from Vlora municipality, the Tourism Ministry, People's Bank, American Bank of Albania and Hotel Palasa. During the previous five years there have been limited numbers of groups from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Spain.
The fifth edition of the Summer University Democracy and Participation will be held this year Aug. 23-Sept. 2 in Vlora. That is part of the project named Toward strengthening new leadership as a form of direct quality of governing tomorrow funded from the Central Europe Initiative and the Council of Europe. There will be lectures on politics, democracy, society, and public life from lecturers from Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia.
                    [post_title] =>  Mediterranean Vlora 2006 festival held in the port city 
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                    [post_content] => KORCA, Aug. 8 - The Shen Gjergji church in the Shipske village in Korca district got rehabilitated from a 100,000 euro private investment from Greece, experts said Tuesday. The work in Shen Gjergj church started two years ago after the funding from Johanis Averon. The church belongs to the beginning of the 18th century. It was very much damaged in many parts. But another funding would be needed to rehabilitate its paintings made from anonymous painters of the area. Many other churches in Voskopoja region have been lately rehabilitated with funding from the U.S. and French embassies in Tirana. Another investment of 14 million leks has been planned for the 5-kilometer Voskopoja-Shipske road. The village of Shipske has remained only with 12 families after many others have left for immigration.
                    [post_title] =>  Rehabilitated the Shen Gjergji (Saint George) church in Korca 
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                    [post_content] => PRIZREN, Aug. 8 - The fifth edition of the international Festival of the documentary and short films Docufest started Tuesday in the Kosovo town of Prizren. Some 57 films from many countries would compete in seven categories. Twenty-eight other films would also be broadcast there. The festival would last until Aug. 13 when an international jury will declare the best documentary, the best short film, the best Balkan documentary, the best cartoon film, an award for human rights and a public award. Prizren is the second biggest city in Kosovo with some 200,000 residents. It has a rich cultural inheritance and architecture like the old castles, stone-made mosques, public baths. Docuphoto festival with many photos will also be held alongside the film festival.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 7 - Minister of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports Bujar Leskaj decided to block the construction of a high building near the Rotonda monument downtown Durres. The decision was based on the law of protection of the cultural inherited monuments, which stops building near the cultural monuments. It also asks for the rehabilitation of the place like it was before the construction had started. The minister also asked Durres authorities to bring a detailed study of all the other cultural monuments in Durres, which may be endangered from other construction.
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            [post_content] => TIRANA, Aug. 15 - Wooden icons in Albania date back to the 6th century when they were worked with such a quality that they have resisted long times and weather phenomenon, experts say. The oldest icons in Albania are those of Sh쮠M쳩 Digitria and Beautiful Doors found at a church near the Prespa lake belonging to the 12th century. In the 12-15th century period icons had such figures as the Saint Mehill at the Mborje church in Korca. They have artistic, historic, religious and national values testifying the country's history and post-Bysantine continuity as a nation. There are well known icons of Onufri and his son Nikolla and those of the second post-Bysantine period represented from Zografet, Shpataraku, Anagnosti, etc. decorative icons like Saint Mary on the chair of the source in Korca and that of Saint Naum at the church of Sh쮠e Premtes in Lushnja are distinguishable from the time. Other names from the middle age are those of Qiprioti and David Selenica.
Since 1977 the icons are under the management of the Institute of the Monuments of Culture as they make up a colossal amount of the Albanian iconographic art. Starting from 1988 the Institute undertook a campaign to collect icons, rehabilitate and then show them to the public. Their greatest part also escaped the anarchy the country was engulfed in 1997 following the collapse of the pyramid investment schemes where Europe's poorest population lost its life savings. In February 2000 a considerable number of the most distinguishable icons was transferred at a secret location to protect them. 
Now they may be found at the Onufri museum in Berat, considered as their center in the country. It was built in 1985 at the Berat castle and shelters some 120 icons of great artistic, historical and documentary values. Some of the icons there are that of "Sh쮠Antoni" and "Gjon Pag컯ri" of Nikolla Onufri, "Sh쮠M쳩a with Christ" anonymous from the 16th century, "Sh쮠Mihali" of 17th century, "Seven Saints" of 1733, etc.
The National Museum of Middle Aged time in Korca has some 6,000 icons and 1,000 metal and wooden objects of some 150 Albanian authors. Some 30 icons are rehabilitated annually and more than 300 are chemically treated to preserve them. Many of them are made from Onufri, Zografi, Shpataraku, etc. another pavilion with icons is at the National Historic Museum in central Tirana since November 2000. it has some 80 icons of Onufri, Onufer Qiprioti, David Selenica, Zografi, Kostandin Shpataraku, Mihal Anagnosti, Vellezerit ȥtiri, etc. that is conceived as a big church starting with a great icon 13 meter long. Another group of icons stays at the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana and the National Museum Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg in Kruja.
During the post-communist period after 1990 hundreds of icons have been stolen in the towns of Korca, Voskopoja, Delvina, Kruja, Saranda, Gjirokastra, Tirana etc and either sent abroad or sold secretly. One of the greatest thefts was that in 1998 of the 500-hundred years old icon of Saint Mary church in the south, a gift from Ali Pashe Tepelena to the villagers of Sopik for their loyalty. it was a view of Saint Mary and her son Jesus Christ engraved in nut wood and silver. It was discovered two and a half years later. According to the sayings it has been stolen many times, starting with the Turks more than a century ago.
There have also been some positive cases like that of the return to the Kruja museum of three icons stolen in 1995, but hundreds others are still 'at large' experts say.
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