Restoration of St. Constantine Church starts

Restoration of St. Constantine Church starts

TIRANA, June 27- The restoration atelier “Conservation of mural painting in the church of St. Constantine and Helena” is taking place in Berat. This atelier will last two weeks starting June 24 to July 5. This church welcomed 11 participants

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Ministry of Culture organizes the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage workshop

Ministry of Culture organizes the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage workshop

TIRANA, June 27- The Ministry of Culture has organized and conducting the “Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritage and its community-based inventory” workshop which lasts for a few days and ends tomorrow. This workshop is financially supported by the Sofia Regional Center,

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Fashion students exhibit their works at FAB

Fashion students exhibit their works at FAB

TIRANA, June 27- The annual exhibition of Textile and Fashion students with opfashion diplomas was opened at the FAB gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts. The exhibition is curated by professor Najada Hamza and centers on optical art, which

Read Full Article
Artistic tour “Here comes Theatre” starts

Artistic tour “Here comes Theatre” starts

TIRANA, June 27- The numerous activities that the National Center for Children’s Culture and Puppet Theater has developed throughout the season, have greatly increased the number of spectators but mostly the desire of children to be always present in all

Read Full Article
Flamingos remain in Albania

Flamingos remain in Albania

TIRANA, June 17- The lagoon of Narta in Vlora is known in Albania as the “Flamingo House.” According to biologists, large colonies of these birds have raised nests this year by adding to the natural wealth of the area and

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Arian Leka receives International Writer Award

Arian Leka receives International Writer Award

TIRANA, June 17- The Presidency of the Macedonian Writers’ Association and its jury have awarded the poet Arian Leka the prestigious “Literary Scepter 2019” award as the author of today’s European poetry. The “Literary Scepter” is the most important prize

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Children exhibit paintings at the National History Museum

Children exhibit paintings at the National History Museum

TIRANA, June 16- Children from 114 countries around the world aged 5-16 years old, have displayed about 300 paintings in the “Colors for Peace” exhibition. The Sun, colorful flowers, pigeons, and full lighted homes are some of the most common

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Underwater excavation on the Albanian coast

Underwater excavation on the Albanian coast

TIRANA, June 17- Two of the most important world institutions in the field of underwater exploration “RPM Nautical Foundation” and “INA Naval Institute” of archeology at the University of Texas, introduced their findings to public and diplomatic corps in the

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An unusual cloud in Tirana’s sky

An unusual cloud in Tirana’s sky

TIRANA, June 15- “Play with me” (Luaj me mua) was a special concert that featured the female choir of the National Theater of Opera, Ballet and National Ensemble (TOB) at the Skanderbeg Square. A piano placed in the square under

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First Albanian school closes its doors

First Albanian school closes its doors

TIRANA, June 17- The National Museum of Education, otherwise known as the First Albanian School Museum, and the Archaeological Museum in Korca will temporarily close their activities. The reason that these two museum centers are closed for an indefinite period

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 27- The restoration atelier “Conservation of mural painting in the church of St. Constantine and Helena” is taking place in Berat. This atelier will last two weeks starting June 24 to July 5. This church welcomed 11 participants from Albania, Kosovo and Spain on the first day of the Restoration Atelier. During these days the participants will exchange experiences and will specialize in recognizing the rare values ​​of our cultural, material and spiritual heritage. Director of the Institute of Cultural Monuments Arta Dollani and the Director of the Regional Directorate of National Culture-Berat Eugen Kallfani also participated in the opening of the atelier. The Church of St. Constantine and Helena is built on the west side of the Kala neighborhood near the residential homes. Its volume is not distinguished in the surrounding environment, as it has adapted to the architecture of the apartments. The church is preceded by a yard and a shrine. It consists of an altar and half circular absids. The building preserves wall paintings which dated back to 1639, based on the inscription on the Gate V. Among the bible-themed paintings, it is found a portrait of St. Constantine. The floor is decorated with a mosaic and its center has a square with geometric drawings of stone tiles and square bricks. The environment is illuminated only by a window on the western side. In Berat there are other churches that are objects of cultural heritage, such as the church of St. Kolli built in the 16 century. The date is verified by the “1591” inscription on a painting at the northern gate. But from archaeological excavations made in the apse of the church, it was noted that the walls of this church belonged to the 11 century. St. Todri's Church for example is rebuilt over the ruins of a Paleochristian church, which is proved by a small column with an overturned chapiter to the window of church absidia. The Church of St. Maria Vllaherna is one of the oldest built in the city of Berat. The architecture preserves the reconstruction of the second half of the 15 century. Early construction of the 13-14 century belongs to the type of Byzantine churches with the shape of an inscribed cross in the dome, which is replaced by a roof.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 27- The Ministry of Culture has organized and conducting the “Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritage and its community-based inventory” workshop which lasts for a few days and ends tomorrow. This workshop is financially supported by the Sofia Regional Center, which works under UNESCO. UNESCO expert from Albania Meri Kumbe said that one of the obligations under the convention is to make an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage, thus the first step the Ministry of Culture is undertaking, is to train its employees how to do it. 

“People should begin to have a voice, decide for themselves what it belongs to them, and be a part of the sharing and making public their identity according to their wish, as is the intangible cultural heritage. After this workshop we expect to have a 90-element national inventory, which will be extended to some areas of Albania,” said Kumbe. 

Two important points of discussion in this workshop is whether traditional outfit Xhubleta should be registered to UNESCO as an intangible heritage, and the much-talked debate of the lahuta. We remind that on December 2018, Serbia managed to successfully file the documentation for “Singing to the accompaniment of the Gusle” as an intangible heritage to UNESCO. Gusle is an instrument belonging to the family of lutes, similar to the Albanian lahuta. Some media in Albania panicked over this news and rushed to write that UNESCO has already declared the lute or gusle as a Serbian instrument, meaning that the lute is not Albanian after all. However, Serbia has merely nominated in safeguarding the practice of singing using the gusle. 

International UNESCO expert from Serbia Sasa Sreckovic, said that when it comes to intangible heritage there is no ownership, and regarding this specific matter there are a lot of areas in the Balkans that practice it. He further added that as a first step the communities and its members who apply and keep alive this tradition must be identified, and the second step is ethics, morality and the legal aspect of the whole process. Sreckovic added that international collaborations amongst the respective institutions on similar intangible heritage must be stimulated. This is also an essential point demanded from UNESCO. 

“There are many states interested in the lute, not only Albania, but Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well, but some of these countries have not registered it [the lute] in their national register of national intangible heritage,” said Sreckovic. 

Kumbe said the Ministry of Culture has already started a collaborative campaign with many actors in the field for registering the lute. “For the sake of truth, singing with lahuta is in a critical, emergent moment, because we risk losing it, although I'm not part of the Ministry, I know there is a very high sensitivity and there are many institutions that have now increased their work,” she concluded.

As for xhubleta, collector and poet Luljeta Dano said that this tradition is being lost. She said the traditional xhubleta with all its parameters stopped being produced around 1950-60, as its construction is very sophisticated. Xhubletas are now mostly found in family and other private collections, the state archive also owns 33 pieces. This tradition is loosely preserved in the mountainous families, where the xhubletas in the shape of bells, corrugated in the back, preserved well in times of war the identity of the Albanian nation, through motives and symbols, which show the faith in God the beauty of mountainous women. But whether this tradition is still alive or not, and whether it will be registered at UNESCO as intangible heritage, it will be decided when this workshop is concluded tomorrow. Dano has been working all her active professional years in preserving the xhubleta.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 27- The annual exhibition of Textile and Fashion students with opfashion diplomas was opened at the FAB gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts. The exhibition is curated by professor Najada Hamza and centers on optical art, which besides provocation, comes as a surprise and encouraging perception of response. Artist Hamza calls this art as unobjective, geometric, illusory, ambiguous, and curatorial platform to create together with the students a non-objective fashion, as a challenge to the custom, norm, rebellion and boundary of what constitutes as “recognition.”

“A beautiful journey, beautiful experience, I believe a healthy and challenging situation compared to what we projected at the beginning of the year. This year's theme was the subject of optical illusion, it is the illusory art, the art of illusion,” said Hamza

She added that often wise fashion itself is an illusion. This project has lasted all year long, when starting from the first sketches. She said this is an avant-garde fashion that moves and causes illusion, just like the fashion industry itself, which moves at a very high pace. Hamza said the graduate bachelor students are prepared for the limited labor market, which is limited to them, but nevertheless she hopes they will build the image and face of Albanian fashion.

The fashion pieces created by the young students is displayed in three spaces to show the entire journey almost alphabetically, demonstrating the depth of research, information and recognition of a detailed study of the phenomenon. Student Adelina Muça said this is a big exhibition for them prior their studies are concluded, as they learn to construct runaways clothes and structures. The exhibition will continue to remain open at the Gallery of Fine Arts faculty.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 27- The numerous activities that the National Center for Children's Culture and Puppet Theater has developed throughout the season, have greatly increased the number of spectators but mostly the desire of children to be always present in all its artistic activities. Director Fatjon Sulstarova said that for the first time an artistic summer tour which includes various festivals of our country, was realized. “For this reason, wanting to be always close to the children with art and education through it, it was thought to be realized for the first time in a very original form an artistic summer tour, which includes the villages of Albania such as Zogaj, Shëngjergj, Katund i Vjetër, Rehovo, Gjinar, Roshnik, Lin, Radha, Lazarat, Mursi and others,” said Sulstarova for this summer. The artistic Tour “Here comes Theatre” is supposed to promote the national project of “100 villages” in itself, but not only so, because in its format this tour won’t only stage puppet shows for children, “but also activating the participating children who paint their impressions at the moment, jump and play together with the actors.” He added that artists are welcomed in whatever village they go to, especially when bringing activities in a time when the performances so far have been concentrated mainly in Tirana and its Puppet Theater. Thus, through this summer tour the artistic life is being developed in different areas away from the capital. Sulstarova said it is good that this project should not be alone during the summer, but be extended throughout the year. He added that this cultural project that will be geographically distributed in the villages is the first of its kind. Seeing the great eagerness that these areas have for art, the Ministry of Culture will see it possible to extend the activity throughout the year so as not to leave it just the summer season.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 17- The lagoon of Narta in Vlora is known in Albania as the “Flamingo House.” According to biologists, large colonies of these birds have raised nests this year by adding to the natural wealth of the area and attracting tourists who come to observe aquatic fauna. The flamingos remain undisturbed in the waters of the lagoon, appearing in large numbers showing the birds’ population growth. These birds prefer to stay in shallow saline waters, and it seems that they are not migrating anymore during the summer but remain in Albania instead. Nexhip Hysolakoj who is director of the Agency of Protected Areas in Vlore said the flamingo is the symbol of the lagoon. The bird is now a permanent resident to this area considering its population growth lately. He said the most important thing is the nesting of these birds. Flamingos in Albania have been studied by some foreign ornithologists for the first time, who said that the birds are laying their eggs near the saline waters of this area. Hysolakoj said that the available data from a recent study made on January 2019, show that this area also contains curly pelicans and other endangered birds apart from flamingos. He said that overall there are more than 9000 present birds and about 30 different species. The Agency has managed to get some funds and has thus set up a few observation points from which students, domestic and foreign visitors can watch the birds. The Lagoon of Narta has an average of 40 thousand visitors a year, the second most important after the Lagoon of Karavasta for its fauna. 

Flamingottt
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 17- The Presidency of the Macedonian Writers' Association and its jury have awarded the poet Arian Leka the prestigious “Literary Scepter 2019” award as the author of today's European poetry. The “Literary Scepter” is the most important prize of the Macedonian Writers' Association and is offered to authors who display high aesthetic values in their works. In addition to this award, poet Arian Leka will have the publication of a book with selected poems already translated into Macedonian, translated into English, along with the text in Albanian. The composition of Arian Leka has previously been published in Macedonian language. In 2016 his novel “House Serpent” was published by the successful publishing house “Goten.”

This publication was accompanied by an afterword by the Academician and prominent writer Luan Starova who also held the ceremonial word in handing over the “Literary Scepter 2019” prize, who among other things writes that “Arian Leka, with his literary polygraph work as a poet, storyteller and novelist, essayist, makes up the youngest generation of Albanian writers, which is liberated radically from social-realism, approaching the poetics of the modern European novel.”

16 qershor 2019.pmd
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 16- Children from 114 countries around the world aged 5-16 years old, have displayed about 300 paintings in the “Colors for Peace” exhibition. The Sun, colorful flowers, pigeons, and full lighted homes are some of the most common symbols we see in this exhibition, which has been inaugurated at the National History Museum, where it will remain open until today. Some of the little Albanian painters tell us what their concept for peace is.

“Peace for us is very important. We must always have peace with each other.”

Renowned artist Skander Kamberi who has selected the works of these young painters across the country, said that “there is the feeling of the children of Albania even in the world, all the children bring their hearts, the land and the continents, the dove of peace, the sun and the will of tomorrow is there.”

President of “Colors for Peace” Antonio Giannelli, who is also the organizer of this initiative in Albania, said that this project has started in 2015 and to date there are 114 countries in it. The exhibition in Albania also served as the inauguration of its branch in Tirana. The project was born in Sant'Anna Park in Italy, Peace Park, where 560 children and women were killed during World War II. Every year there are different exhibitions organized worldwide, and this year is being held in Albania. The organizer of the exhibition Thanas Gega on the other hand, said that all children share the opinion as to how peace should be. “It is surprising that all children, such as those from Syria, Albanians or Argentines, all agree on this. This sensitizes everyone, because year to year it [the exhibition] is organized in different countries,” said Gega.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 17- Two of the most important world institutions in the field of underwater exploration “RPM Nautical Foundation” and “INA Naval Institute” of archeology at the University of Texas, introduced their findings to public and diplomatic corps in the afternoon on June 14 at the city of Durres. These two US-led research institutes in underwater research technology are also present in the Albanian sea for 12 years, creating underwater scientific maps. The presentation was opened by the head of the UNESCO Scientific Council on world underwater assets Auron Tare, with a short history of marine research in Albania, citing in particular the efforts of Albanian archaeologists Mokom Zeqo and Neritan Ceka in their underwater exploration and the creation of the first bathyscaphe in the 70s, as an attempt to explore the history of the Albanian coasts. The “Herkules” ship that with its sophisticated technology scanned one-third of the Albanian territory by creating three dimensional maps of the sea bottom, has discovered over 41 historical relics dating back to the 6th century BC until the British ship “ HMS Volage,” which opened the scene of the famous Corfu Channel incident story in 1946. President of the RPM Nautical Foundation James Goold, who is one of the leading international figures in the field of international maritime law, also spoke on these excavations emphasizing the great importance of these discoveries not only for the maritime history of Albania, but in the Mediterranean context. In particular, James Goold reiterated the fact that in the Corfu Channel incident, Albania is innocent because the discoveries made by the US expedition clearly show that British ships have not been in the declared course but have violated the sovereignty of Albanian waters, making this incident a military provocation and not a peaceful transition. The “Herkules” ship, which has been staying for a few days at the port of Durres to assist the Albanian authorities in port scanning, will continue its search, bringing new science to the bottom of the sea and shedding light on the great importance that marine discoveries have not only for history, but also for the development of cultural tourism along our shores.

durres_zbulimet_nenujore_foto_e_duhur_faqe_19-2
                    [post_title] => Underwater excavation on the Albanian coast
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                    [post_date] => 2019-06-21 11:33:56
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 15- “Play with me” (Luaj me mua) was a special concert that featured the female choir of the National Theater of Opera, Ballet and National Ensemble (TOB) at the Skanderbeg Square. A piano placed in the square under a white cloud, awaited listeners who are passionate about Albanian and foreign songs. “Play with me” took its scene down to the square, an event organized by the Ministry of Culture within the framework of the Month of Music, a special concert where anyone could be the protagonist. The female choir of the TOB, under the conduction of Dritan Lumshi and accompanied by pianist Thanas Paskali, sang Albanian and foreign songs.

l3
                    [post_title] => An unusual cloud in Tirana’s sky
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                    [post_date] => 2019-06-21 11:31:47
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, June 17- The National Museum of Education, otherwise known as the First Albanian School Museum, and the Archaeological Museum in Korca will temporarily close their activities. The reason that these two museum centers are closed for an indefinite period is related to the effects of the June 1 earthquake that hit the southeastern region. Gjergji Koki who director of the Regional Directorate of National Culture, affirmed the fact that these two museums were closed for security reasons after the earthquake hit. He explained that the specialists of the Ministry of Culture will assess the situation and what measures must be taken for these facilities. There are indications that the earthquake waves caused minor damage to facilities where the Museum of Education and Archaeology operate. The amortized buildings themselves, especially the one of the first Albanian Primary School, did not withstand the earthquake without any damages. The closure of the two museum centers in Korca is also set as a safeguard for the visitor's life safety despite appearing that the seismic shifts have been past in the southeastern region. It is not yet known when these museum centers will resume activity, while the National Museum of Education is also in the restoration project for the amortized state of the building. The First Albanian School Museum is located in one of the most popular areas of Korca known as Pedonalja (the piedonale), opposite the “Unknown Soldier.” The museum was erected in the building where on Mar. 7, 1887, the first Albanian school known as the “Mësonjtorja” was opened, with a secular and national character. Within the museum is a photocopy of the first Albanian alphabet written by patriot Naum Veqilharxhi, and the second one from another patriot, Konstandin Kristoforidhi. On the second floor, the classroom is as unaltered as it was in the original, with the characteristic wooden banks, wall frames, and books on the benches. In its yard there is the ABC Obelisk, which has turned to the museum’s symbol. The school opened at a time when the Albanian people felt the need to have an Albanian school that would be secular and elevate the values ​​of the Albanian nation. Among the main names related to the history of the school is that of Pandeli Sotir, its first teacher and headmaster, who abandoned Istanbul with 150 primers to go to Korca. He made an essential contribution to the opening of the school, thus marking one of the most important moments of Albanian history and language. Other school leaders who left their marks are Petro Nini Luarasi, Thoma Avrami, Nuci Naci, and others. 
                    [post_title] => First Albanian school closes its doors
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            [post_date] => 2019-06-27 21:13:13
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            [post_content] => TIRANA, June 27- The restoration atelier “Conservation of mural painting in the church of St. Constantine and Helena” is taking place in Berat. This atelier will last two weeks starting June 24 to July 5. This church welcomed 11 participants from Albania, Kosovo and Spain on the first day of the Restoration Atelier. During these days the participants will exchange experiences and will specialize in recognizing the rare values ​​of our cultural, material and spiritual heritage. Director of the Institute of Cultural Monuments Arta Dollani and the Director of the Regional Directorate of National Culture-Berat Eugen Kallfani also participated in the opening of the atelier. The Church of St. Constantine and Helena is built on the west side of the Kala neighborhood near the residential homes. Its volume is not distinguished in the surrounding environment, as it has adapted to the architecture of the apartments. The church is preceded by a yard and a shrine. It consists of an altar and half circular absids. The building preserves wall paintings which dated back to 1639, based on the inscription on the Gate V. Among the bible-themed paintings, it is found a portrait of St. Constantine. The floor is decorated with a mosaic and its center has a square with geometric drawings of stone tiles and square bricks. The environment is illuminated only by a window on the western side. In Berat there are other churches that are objects of cultural heritage, such as the church of St. Kolli built in the 16 century. The date is verified by the “1591” inscription on a painting at the northern gate. But from archaeological excavations made in the apse of the church, it was noted that the walls of this church belonged to the 11 century. St. Todri's Church for example is rebuilt over the ruins of a Paleochristian church, which is proved by a small column with an overturned chapiter to the window of church absidia. The Church of St. Maria Vllaherna is one of the oldest built in the city of Berat. The architecture preserves the reconstruction of the second half of the 15 century. Early construction of the 13-14 century belongs to the type of Byzantine churches with the shape of an inscribed cross in the dome, which is replaced by a roof.
            [post_title] => Restoration of St. Constantine Church starts
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