Albania of 1928-31 from the eyes of two Italian diplomats

Albania of 1928-31 from the eyes of two Italian diplomats

TIRANA, May 23- The Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD) within the quarters of the Prime Minister’s office is displaying a special exhibition of 86 photos from the personal archive of diplomats Pietro and Larissa Quaroni about an Albania during

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Qerimaj’s “Arch of Triumph”

Qerimaj’s “Arch of Triumph”

TIRANA, May 23- The “Arch of Triumph of Qerimaj” is a concert that was held in Tirana’s Amphitheater yesterday, and it was a cultural event that brought together nine artists from the renowned Qerimaj family, to whom French musicians that

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International Puppet Fest returns in Tirana

International Puppet Fest returns in Tirana

TIRANA, May 23- The second edition of the International Puppet Festival returns to the Metropol Theater scene on May 25 to June 1. Troops with a long tradition in this theater genre such as China, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Israel,

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Driant Zeneli represents Albanian at Venice Biennale

Driant Zeneli represents Albanian at Venice Biennale

TIRANA, May 14- Under the presence of Albanian and foreign artists and under the attention of international media, the Albanian pavilion was opened at the Venice Biennale on Friday. In this 58th edition, Albania was represented by artist Driant Zeneli

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Exhibition for things left behind by children taken from war

Exhibition for things left behind by children taken from war

TIRANA, May 16- How is to see an empty cradle? What about a vest hanging on a wooden pendant? Two sweaters that almost wander in a memory space? How is it to see a pair of almost brand new sneakers,

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Thomas Simaku performs at 2019 World Music Days

Thomas Simaku performs at 2019 World Music Days

TIRANA, May 12- The piece La Leggiadra Luna by Albanian composer Thomas Simaku was performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) – World Music Days in Tallinn on 4 May 2019. Composed for mixed choir a cappella, this

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International Museum Day

International Museum Day

TIRANA, May 16- In the framework of International  Museum Day in May 18, the National History Museum in cooperation with the Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Tourism in the Municipality of Tirana will organize the project “Moving Museum” starting today.

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Culture heritage and Albanian as a priority

Culture heritage and Albanian as a priority

TIRANA, May 9- Businessman Stefan Pinguli recounts how the first International Assembly “The Historical-Language and Ethnocultural Continuity of Albanians Through Millennia,” which will take place from May 9 to 12 in Tirana and will be organized by the National Center

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National Theatre gets its name back

National Theatre gets its name back

TIRANA, May 9- There has been an ongoing clash between artists and government with Tirana Municipality regarding the demolition of the National Theatre in order to build a new complex with towers and perhaps a couple of other scenes within

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Four works of Odhise Paskali are discovered

Four works of Odhise Paskali are discovered

TIRANA, May 2- He was a writer, journalist, translator, painter, above all sculptor. Odhise Paskali (1903-1985) however, never achieved his dream of studying sculpture despite numerous requests. He studied for philosophy and literature in Turin, Italy, and during these studies

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 23- The Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD) within the quarters of the Prime Minister’s office is displaying a special exhibition of 86 photos from the personal archive of diplomats Pietro and Larissa Quaroni about an Albania during 1928-1931, and its elitary rich families and politicians of the time. The photos were made by the Quaroni couple during their diplomatic mission at the Italian Embassy in Albania in this period of four years and most of them are exhibited for the first time for the public. The photographs of different sizes and are accompanied by two documentaries of the same period, one of them is from the “Luce” archive which is temporarily given for this exhibition, and shows the moment when Foreign Minister Dino Grandi visited Albania. For the first time it is possible to see in its entirety the rich archive of over 780 photographs, digitized for this occasion, and gifted to Albania by their granddaughter Cristina Quaroni. 

In this exhibition the visitor is given the opportunity to discover the Albanian events, people, everyday life, landscapes and traditions, as seen and lived by the Quaroni couple in an historical and social context, which presents a lot of interest: astonishing and authentic scenery, a realistic look not particularly common on political figures and characters who dominated the Albanian scene during the 1920s and 1930s. The diplomatic couple themselves have posed with traditional Albanian costumes, which are also exposed in this exhibition. After the Quaronis come to Albania, they start to get acquainted with the country's elite, they participate in dinners and receptions, and pull the threads of the time’s politics. We remind that Italy of this time is very close to Albania. Among all their daily engagements they also shot about hundreds of photographs of politicians, beys, and large Albanian families. 

During an info-session held at COD which was moderated by renowned journalist Blendi Fevziu, he mentioned that some of the important characters of the time displayed in these photographs rarely appear in our archives, such as the photo of one of the most beautiful women of Albania of those years, Sara Blloshmi, or personalities like Iliaz Vrioni and Eqerem Bej Vlora. Historian Nevila Nika also said on the perspectives these photographs offer in many disciplines, such as “architects can see how Tirana was in 1928, the sociologist or the anthropologist can see the clothing worn then and the social activities, those who study political science can see the politicians of those times.” She added that these pictures offer an important historical context because Albanian photography and its elements has suffered many losses in files and documents due to the various wars our country went through.

[caption id="attachment_141890" align="aligncenter" width="504"]60158720_871725509834259_9166835724480151552_n The Quaroni couple[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_141898" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania[/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_141893" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Prince Leka Prince Leka[/caption]

60788151_875741916099285_3898864495472148480_n

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[caption id="attachment_141896" align="aligncenter" width="717"]Diplomat Rauf Fico (left_, and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right) Diplomat Rauf Fico (left), and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right)[/caption]

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                    [post_title] => Albania of 1928-31 from the eyes of two Italian diplomats
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 23- The “Arch of Triumph of Qerimaj” is a concert that was held in Tirana's Amphitheater yesterday, and it was a cultural event that brought together nine artists from the renowned Qerimaj family, to whom French musicians that have performed the “Gladiator” film’s soundtrack joined. It was a festive concert that brought together three generations of the Qerimaj family on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of birth to musical dynasty’s father, Ethem Qerimaj.

Renowned composer and Ethem’s son, Fatos Qerimaj, said on Tuesday that they will introduce instrumentalists to the Albanian public. The 85th anniversary of his father was paid special attention to, so it would make him [Ethem] happy with an evening on his triumphant career. That is why, Fatos said, the title “Arch of Triumph” was given to the concert an abstraction of his artistic career.

“We have a Tirana suite, one from the North and one from the South. The concert will include all Albanian territories,” added composer Qerimaj, while he noted that special guests at this concert will be the French instrumentalists who have been part of the realization of the “Gladiator” soundtrack.

Renowned French instrumentalist Levon Minassian, who has cooperated with Charles Aznavour, Helene Segara, Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin, Armand Amar and Sting, said he was very happy to be at this concert in Tirana. He plays the duduk, an instrument that has been part of many soundtracks he has performed in, and noted that it was very important that the instrument was even more evident in the gladiator film. The Qerimaj family and the French instrumentalists performed their best repertoire of traditional, Balkan, and European music. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 23- The second edition of the International Puppet Festival returns to the Metropol Theater scene on May 25 to June 1. Troops with a long tradition in this theater genre such as China, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Israel, and England, will entertaining both children and all age groups. Albania is represented with two shows “Where the mountain meet the moon” written by Grace Lin, and the musical show “Goodwill” by Elona Hyseni. 

This second edition is organised by Tirana’s Metropol Theater in cooperation with Klau's Film Association. Armela Demaj who is Artistic Director at Metropol Theater said that a second edition which includes international troops is brought for the public follow last year’s success, where the shows were organized in two different locations within the Metropol Theater and at the Skanderbeg Square. One of the festival organizers explained how the selection of works was done and the plays chosen to be performed are so different from one-another, both from the content and techniques. Director Klajdi Ymeri said this confrontation serves not only to the public but also to the artists. 

Some of the representative performances during the festival are “Where the mountain meets the moon,” “Twisting the tail” from Israel, “Catching the puppets” from Mexico, “Ugly duckling” from Poland, “Spring Beauties” from China, “Bravo, Bravissimo!” from Italy, “Time Game” by Spanish writer David Zuazola, “The mirror” from England etc.. The troops will stage two performances each, one during the morning at the Metropol Theater and the other every evening at Skanderbeg Square. 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 14- Under the presence of Albanian and foreign artists and under the attention of international media, the Albanian pavilion was opened at the Venice Biennale on Friday. In this 58th edition, Albania was represented by artist Driant Zeneli with his video installation “Maybe the Cosmos is not so extraordinary,” curated by Alicia Knock. 

The ceremony was opened by Minister of Culture Elva Margariti, who said that Albania is presented in this artistic cosmos with a work that is born in Bulqiza and exceeds the local boundaries to convey a much more universal message. She thanked all those who were present and in support of the beauty that Albanian art creates and represents in a parade of world art. She expressed her gratitude for the representation by Driant, a young, energetic talent with a longstanding and dedication to his art, which according to Margariti is representing us well in this event, as noticed by the many foreign media writings.

“We join this biennial with a fracture of dimensions, bringing small stories from small towns and turning them to contemporary art and in the dimension of beauty. We are aware that his art also brings a controversy over which I would like to invite reflection and discussion,” said Margariti.

Curator Alicia Knock said that Zeneli's work shows how dreams can become a reality. She said that Driant's work speaks of a specific reality of Albania, of Bulqiza, of chrome, which travels from the heart of the mountain to the cosmos, describing a geopolitical, economic, and industrial journey in Zeneli's work.

“This cosmos is not only built by me, but many people have worked for one year to accomplish this work, starting with the five heroes who are the protagonists in the piece. My work is dedicated to all those who believe in dreams and seek to push their limits every day,” said artist Driant Zeneli.

The opening ceremony was attended by artists Anri Sala, Adrian Paci, Edi Muka, Alban Muja, Anila Rubiku and others. Curator Edi Muka praised the metaphor used by Zeneli to connect the overground with the subterranean. Artist Anri Sala focused on how Zeneli selected the topic with the general theme of the biennial, with the concerns and problems that this edition deals with, as well as trying to find other alternatives. Artist Adrian Paci calls the concept of Driant Zeneli's work a finding, linking reality with fantasy, the underworld of Albania with the cosmos. Kosovo's representative at the Venice Biennale, Alban Muja, praised not only the concept of the work, but also the installation of the pavilion. “You Live In Interesting Times” is the title of the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale and refers to an ancient Chinese curse that evokes times of uncertainty, crises and chaos. The interesting times as we are living. This edition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, under the chairmanship of Paolo Baratta. According to Rugoff, “maybe art, indirectly, can turn into a guide to how we can live and think.” In this edition located at the “Giardini e Arsenale”  90 countries participated, while 21 collateral events take place around Venice.

Driant Zeneli was born in Shkoder in 1983, and lives between Milan and Tirana. In 2011 he was one of the artists who represented Albania at the 54th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale. In 2008 he won the Onufri International Contemporary Art Prize, Tirana; the Young European Artist Award Trieste Contemporanea in 2009, and the MOROSO Prize, Italy, in 2017. He was the artistic director of Mediterranea 18, the Young Artists Biennale from Europe and Mediterranean, taking place for the first time in 2017 between Tirana and Durres. He has exhibited at Passerelle, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brest, (2018); Mostyn Gallery, Wales, UK (2017); MuCEM, Marseille, (2016); Academie de France à Roma, (2016); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); MSFAU Tophane-i Aime, Istanbul, (2016); Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani, Milan (2015; 2010); IV Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Chile (2015); Viafarini, Milan (2014); GAM, Museum of Modern and Contemporaryart Turin (2013); White House Biennial, Athens (2013); KCCC, Klaipeda, Lithuania (2013); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2012); MUSAC, Castilla León. Spain,(2012); TICA, Tirana (2012); Prague Biennale 5, Prague (2011); 98 weeks Project Space, Beirut (2011); Trongate 103, Glasgow (2011); National Gallery of Kosove, Prishtine (2010); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Villa Croce, Genoa (2009); National Gallery of Tirana, (2008).

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                    [post_title] => Driant Zeneli represents Albanian at Venice Biennale
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 16- How is to see an empty cradle? What about a vest hanging on a wooden pendant? Two sweaters that almost wander in a memory space? How is it to see a pair of almost brand new sneakers, because the one who wears them is no longer there, because they did not let him wear them until torn? What about a sweater inside a mosque, stopped in a moment of eternity? How is it looking at many tearful eyes, the mothers of children who never grew up? 

20 years later, the colors of their drawings have faded. The paper of their books, as well. 20 years later, just the image of their portraits hurts all the same. Parents still mourn, but no longer have to feel that this is a dream. They almost never find the power to believe this is just a dream. It's ironic to see a child's list of grades below a clean glass. The child is here no longer, but the list remains. How does human life die faster than a piece of paper that proves that in the ether we feel today, once breathed a daughter or a son.

“Once upon a time” is the natural beginning of every fable. In this case, it is the beginning of a war confession. Under the naive eyesight of our children, a world that does not belong to reality, like fairy tales, is opened to us. Blerta Hoçia launches the curatorial text of an exhibition that remembers Kosovo children who never grew up as a fairytale. They would be in their 30s today, but they were killed somewhere, their lives were taken somewhere else, turning their fairy tale into a tragedy. The things they left behind create the slumber of a life torn from the sprout, and their weight in the air passes every pain of pain.

“They were soldiers dressed in the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army), but they are children, I do not know what the child did that they killed it ... I wish the bullets would have taken me instead of my children, to have been with them instead of seeing their photos here today,” says Mejremja (for ‘Life’ in Kosovo), the mother of one of the children shot, while she sees photographs at the exhibition that reminded 1,133 children killed in the Kosovo war between 1998 and 2000.

“A glass room inside the space contains all the weight of the objects. To remind us that this exhibition can be seen from the children's point of view, these objects are suspended in the tale as dormant inside the box. A seemingly sleepiness of these objects left in the darkness of unconsciousness that arouses personal and collective memory from the need to constantly forget,” curator Hochia noted. 

The windshield creates the same sensation as the memories, they are there but you can not touch them. Like the love for those who are no longer, you feel it, but you can not embrace it. Like the longing for ones you no longer have, they are somewhere in your heart, you are talking, scream the pain and love, but in the suspense of the memorial room you receive no answer. The items and outfits here cease to be objects and clothing. They turn into personal stories that accompany the presence of the children themselves. This presence of another dimension, blended with bullets and fairy tales that break suddenly like the glass containing them, carrying all the implied symbolism.

This exhibition comes as an invitation for confrontation and reflection, for dialogue and recovery, to start building a collective memory through these objects and others that will be added in the future. The objects belonging to children remind us of everyday life, monotonous life, the little precious things that we do not always notice. Some of them tell us about a silent game that still continues.

“Perhaps a game that accompanied coexistence with the war and continues to be reflected in all the remaining items that convey the gentle eyes of the children, which heal and release a ray of hope by making their memory eternal,” said exhibition curator Blerta Hocia.

She cares to point out that more than an exhibition, this is a memorial dedicated to children killed and disappeared in the war. Why are memorials made and the ruins of the consequences of serious human rights violations preserved? The answer is clear, they are not just to remind and honor the victims and the survivors, but also to seek the truth. In seeking this truth, the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo is fully committed, and for the creation of this memorial it was discussed with the parents and the relatives of the victims, thus this exhibition expresses their wish to reminisce them through the few things left from an interrupted childhood.

The exhibition was brought by the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo and supported by NED, Municipality of Prishtina, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. It was opened on May 13, 2019 at the Kosovo Documentation Center. The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLCK) since 1997 deals with documenting victims of war crimes and other serious violations of human rights. All HLCK activities are in the field of Transitional Justice and contribute to achieving justice for victims, establishing accurate narratives on the war, supporting victims in realizing their right to reparations and educating young people on Transitional Justice . Finally, the HLCK also contributes to the memorialization of the war victims.

Items are all stored by family members, and for many of them, they are the only remaining items they have from their children. With the collection of items and contacts with family members has dealt the Kosovo Humanitarian Law Center. Hocia said it was very difficult for her preparing the exhibition. She added that the theme is very sensitive and painful, but nevertheless she tried this exhibition to convey empathy, and to reflect on the past and make it easier to confront it. Hocia who has a long experience with exhibitions, said she has learned a lot about the war and that period during her research ,and realized that much of that information in Albania has not come either at that time or now. 

“It is important to see this as a first step in building a collective memory or a memory museum,” she said.

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 12- The piece La Leggiadra Luna by Albanian composer Thomas Simaku was performed at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) – World Music Days in Tallinn on 4 May 2019. Composed for mixed choir a cappella, this work is a setting of Sappho’s poem translated from ancient Greek into modern Italian by the Nobel Prize-winning Sicilian poet Salvatore Quasimodo, and has previously received its world premiere by the 24 vocal ensemble at the University of York.

Simaku’s works have been selected by international juries in ten editions of this festival, which has been described as the “Music Olympics.” Founded in 1922, the ISCM Festival is the oldest forum of new music in the world, which takes place every year in a different country. Simaku’s piece in the 2019 edition of ISCM was performed by the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putniņš. The concert was broadcasted live on national radio, and transferred across Europe through the European Broadcasting Union. Thomas Simaku was one of three British composers representing the UK at this prestigious festival this year.

In his review of the concert Timmy Fisher wrote that “the most memorable moment of the evening, however, came at the climax of Thomas Simaku’s La Leggiadra Luna (The Beautiful Moon), in which a thundering eight-note chord reverberated around the St Nicholas’ rafters for what felt like an eternity.” 

Simaku was born in Kavaje in 1958 and grew up surrounded by music. He was sent to the music school of Durres when he was 14 years old to study oboe, accordion, harmony & counterpoint. After the music school in Durrës, Simaku enrolled in the State Conservatory of Music in the capital Tirana, studying composition under Tonin Harapi. Then he moved to England in 1991, when he was 33 years old, forced to start his career path all over again. As postgraduate studies he enrolled at York University for a PhD in composition, where he studied with David Blake. Blake introduced him to the Second Viennese School, where Simaku immersed himself into the music banned in Albania. Bartok, Stravinsky, Berio, Boulez, Birtwistle, Xenakis, Lutoslawski et al., have all had their input during his study years at York. But it was with the music of Ligeti and Kurtag that Simaku felt he discovered something very special, which was more than an inspiration to him.

Simaku faced many challenges while trying to settle in UK, both in learning a new language, but also having to miss his father’s funeral because he couldn’t leave the country. Nevertheless, he was the Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood Music Centre, USA studying with Bernard Rands, and a fellow at the Composers’ Workshop, California State University with Brian Ferneyhough. Simaku’s music has been reaching audiences across Europe, the USA and further afield for more than two decades, and it has been awarded a host of accolades for its expressive qualities and its unique blend of intensity and modernism.

His latest piece was written for six musicians of Klangforum Wien. His latest String Quartet (No 5), commissioned by the HCMF and first performed in 2015, was written specifically for Quatuor Diotima, will be recorded later in 2019 for a new CD with the Swedish label BIS Records to be released in 2020. He has also composed The Scream for String orchestra based on the iconic painting by Edvard Munch, which received its world premiere in 2017 performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra.

“I could say that an important characteristic of my musical language is putting together elements from disparate musical cultures. Often, complex chordal structures or multi-layered textural formats are reduced to just one single note which becomes a kind of ‘atomistic compression’ with a magnetic quality, as it were, around which various colouristic elements orbit freely,” said Simaku regarding his musical language. 

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                    [post_title] => Thomas Simaku performs at 2019 World Music Days
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                    [post_date] => 2019-05-16 17:53:00
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 16- In the framework of International  Museum Day in May 18, the National History Museum in cooperation with the Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Tourism in the Municipality of Tirana will organize the project “Moving Museum” starting today. An ordinary bus will be turned into an exhibition where students of rural Tirana schools will get acquainted with the history of some of the Albanian cultural heritage sites. 

The “Moving Museum” exhibition features items from museum collections stored in National History Museum archives, which belong to different historical periods. Among them are vases from antiquity, portraits, cult objects, musical instruments, folk costumes etc. The first stop today was at the Administrative Unit Berzhite at its middle school with the same name. The National History Museum writes that this activity aims to involve the communities in the development of cultural policies in order to improve the quality of cultural life in Tirana and throughout Albania. “Through this project, the collection aims to become known to a wider public to make a more meaningful connection with the object while at the same time contributing to strengthening the museum's identity, including cooperation with citizens, the community and society in raising awareness in young people for the preservation of our cultural heritage,” the museum wrote in its announcement.

On May 17 the Museum will be also organizing two more events within the framework of the International Museum Day. One of the event will be an exhibition with children's paintings on the topic “Cultural Heritage” which comes in collaboration with the National Cultural Center for Children. The other event will be the International Scientific Conference : “The face of 'People's Enemy' during the dictatorship of the proletariat in Albania 1944-1990.” This conference is organised in collaboration between the Authority for Information on Former State Security Documents,the National History Museum, the Institute of History at the Academy of Albanological Studies, the Institute for the Studies of Communist Crimes and Consequences in Albania and the Institute of Integration of the Former Political Persecuted, and will take place at the UNESCO hall of the National History Museum at 9:30 am.

The National History Museum was inaugurated on 28 October 1981. For the establishment of this museum was gathered a team with the best specialists of the country in the fields of history, linguistics, archeology, ethnography, cartography, architecture and art. It was worked for almost three years in an organized manner for building this museum until its opening, according to the respective sections. The group was headed by distinguished personalities such as Aleks Buda, Stefanaq Pollo, Selami Pulaha, Skënder Anamali, Emin Riza, Burhan Çiraku, Kleanthi Dedi, Iljaz Goga, Rrok Zojzi, Abaz Dojaka, Ramadan Sokoli, Enver Faja, Nina Shehu, Vilson Kilica, Fatmir Haxhiu, Myrteza Fushekati, Met Deliu, Aleksander Meksi, and others. The National History Museum is the largest museal institution in Albania and one of its most important. There are about 5000 objects in the museum's premises, which belong to a relatively long period of time, beginning in the IV century BC and until the second half of the 20th century.

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                    [post_title] => International Museum Day
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 9- Businessman Stefan Pinguli recounts how the first International Assembly “The Historical-Language and Ethnocultural Continuity of Albanians Through Millennia,” which will take place from May 9 to 12 in Tirana and will be organized by the National Center “Our Roots.”. About 90 reference reporters, academics, scholars, but also ordinary people will address different topics in these areas throughout the four days at the National History Museum. Pinguli says that through this initiative will be said those truths that so far have not been said  from academics-officials for various reasons.

Stefan-Pinguli

Pinguli said that several conferences have been made so far, but throughout about a year they have been organizing this congress, which started as a national, but turned out international because of the great interest shown from Albanians everywhere in the world. He also added that even within the country there are many scholars who are hidden in the thought that “each one thinks for himself.”

“We thought that we would expand the freedom of thought by deciding that this assembly should not have a purely scientific character, but also an encyclopedic character that paves the way to free international opinion of all the historical truths that have not been said to date,” said Pinguli who is president of the assembly.

In this assembly there will be guests who will express their opinions, even if opposed to those that are officially recognized. Pinguli mentioned that within these academic cadres there are very well-versed people, but the assembly hopes to provoke the national feeling and get their best opinion, uninspired by the famous psychological genre of being careful of what has been already said. 90 reference reporters have signed so far, which have very important theses. The Assembly will also record all academic writers or historians, history, linguistics and etymology of our country, because members of the assembly believe they are a group of people that have not been echoed almost at all.

During the assembly Pinguli thinks a few theses will be proposed, but there will be no debate about them. However, a great deal of attention will be paid especially to the theses related to the Albanian language. Two of the main theses that will be proposed will not be debated, because it is not an assembly of scientific debate, but it is an assembly of freedom of thought regarding linguistics, history and etymology. The language to date is studied language in its comparative form. The linguistic predecessors, such as Çabej, Domi, etc., without a doubt have made a great contribution to this style of discovery, although Cabej writes that “we know what we got out of the world, but we do not know what we have given the world.” On this basis, there are young scholars who see our language not only as a comparative language, produced by comparative folklore, but also as an embryonic language, in which essence is the history of languages. A second objective is that, since 1972, the Scripture Congress which is considered to be extremely important basis, has been out of attention for about 50 years. 

“The language needs to be enriched, because over 50 percent of our country is from the North. The introduction of new gege structures would enrich and make them more comprehensible by international scholars, who reach a point on language but do not go further because they do not know the rest of the language,” said Pinguli.

On the other hand the Folklore Dpt. from the Academy for Albanological Studies organized the cycle “Trage” (Trails) which aims to bring together scholars, artists, research and artistic projects that deal with different expressive forms and practices. “Trampled trails, trails slightly trampled and not at all; trails that trace how certain expressions or concepts come back into an identity and cultural emblem; sometimes in conflicts and controversies, and at times in sources of regeneration and social-cultural revitalization,” writes the Academy in its website explaining the cycle. It also adds that they are encouraged to explore the conceptual and real world links between cultural heritage, folklore, tradition and arts; the links between secular and vernacular forms of expression and understanding between cultural policies as well as research and discourse derived from folklore, ethnomusicology, linguistics, history, anthropology and audiovisual studies.

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The first discourse was held at the “Rrok Zojzi” hall of the Institute of Anthropological Culture and Art Studies. The first lecture of the “Trage” cycle was held by Prof. As. Dr. Merita Bruci on Francesco Anton Santori (1819-1894), a highly productive Arberesh writer of the 19th century, whose contribution is briefly mentioned and taken into account. Santori lived and wrote in a period when romantics of all Europe populations were given after the collection and publishing of folk songs. This spirit of time was embraced even by many Arberesh writers who managed to awaken the bonds with the land of the ancestors, as a land and a collective memory, to avoid the danger of oblivion. They developed and kept alive the Albanian identity, elaborating the means to do so. Santori, as a contemporary and cooperative with Jeronim De Rada, was unavoidably involved in this national revival project through collecting and publishing folklore. This folkloric material served him as a starting point that made many motives. These became the basis on which he made drama, tragedy and novel. Santori is the second author behind De Rada who has left a rich collection, perhaps the richest we inherit, on popular songs of the Arbresh of Italy, which is preserved in several variants. Manuscript variants are found scattered in Kozenca and Copenhagen, and some of them were presented by Dr. Bruci during the lecture. 

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                    [post_title] => Culture heritage and Albanian as a priority
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 9- There has been an ongoing clash between artists and government with Tirana Municipality regarding the demolition of the National Theatre in order to build a new complex with towers and perhaps a couple of other scenes within that complex. The artists deemed corruptive the giving of the concession tender to Fusha Shpk without an open competition, and thus the project remains suspended, yet, it seems as the government is pushing some buttons for the building to be ruined.

During the early hours of April 26  the letters identifying the National Theatre as such, were mysteriously removed. The building was left for two weeks with the shadow of the 14 letters in its structure. Artists and activists from the Theatre Protection Alliance have accused Prime Minister Edi Rama and Mayor Erion Veliaj on this sneaky move, however the culprit who ordered this vandalism to be committed remains unknown. 

“The National Theater facade awoke violated, stripped of its identification letters. The Theatre Protection Alliance condemns this low act and asks the Ministry of Culture to hold an immediate and public stance for what has happened and to take care that the letters be restored where they were,” the Alliance wrote on Friday (April 26).

The Ministry of Culture didn’t react on this matter until a couple of days ago when the appointed minister Elva Margariti said during a televised show at Report TV channel that according to her knowledge the letters were on the risk of collapsing, just like the building is. She also added that the National Theatre has turned into a political debate more than a question of cultural heritage, hinting that a restoration won’t fix the problems and won’t add the value of the building. Margariti is an architect by profession. 

Two weeks later the letters were restored at the same size, font and color to the building by the Alliance and its artists. During the reclamation citizens also joined and clapped after the restoration was finished. This symbolic act was done after a silence from the respective institutions, while the Alliance had filed a lawsuit in the prosecutor’s office. 

The Theater Protection Alliance made the Municipality of Tirana responsible for this action, which in one year of debate has been designated as responsible for the PPP of the theater site while its head also leads the commissions with the interest groups. According to a law remaining somewhere in the assembly offices he will also direct the commission that will make the decision to select the winning project for the new theater on the site of two old theaters and surrounding areas.

“When we pointed the finger of the accusation by the mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, as the person who had ordered this act, we were not speculating. We had statements from the staff of the third shift, who told us aloud: it was the Tirana Municipality employees who came around 4.30 am and removed the letters from the facade. Now it is loud and with a figure, the devious, the maggot, the enemy of the heritage and history of Tirana, Erion Veliaj! Shame is little to be said about this unscrupulous man,” wrote in its profile the Theater Protection Alliance on April 29.

This action was carried out at a time when the protest of activists for the protection of the National Theater building continues. Some pictures from when the act was being carried out also surfaced. Meanwhile, the government stands to its decision to break this condominium. The action sparked numerous reactions from artist groups, but no response from state-run institutions. The artists on the other hand are a bit separated as some continue to stage shows at the Experimental Theatre, while others have moved to ArTurbina.

[caption id="attachment_141676" align="aligncenter" width="720"]The artists with the letters to be restored The artists with the letters to be restored[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_141677" align="aligncenter" width="900"]The ground while putting the letters back The ground while putting the letters back[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_141678" align="aligncenter" width="720"]A picture from when the letters were being removed during early morning of April 26 A picture from when the letters were being removed during early morning of April 26[/caption]
                    [post_title] => National Theatre gets its name back
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, May 2- He was a writer, journalist, translator, painter, above all sculptor. Odhise Paskali (1903-1985) however, never achieved his dream of studying sculpture despite numerous requests. He studied for philosophy and literature in Turin, Italy, and during these studies he had shown the passion for the art of sculpture. Thanks to all this expressive and creative diapers, in the early 1920s, Odhise Pascal was recognized as one of the greatest intellectuals of the time. As he published his essays in the press of time, he did not leave aside the painting and sculpture. They were distinguished for characteristic and special works, for expressive qualities that prevailed with a rare genius of solid materials, making them so beautifully readable from the eyes of everyone.

1556780031_1vepra3

Here, in 1924, his scarce “The hungry” sculpture would make him known as the rarest artist in his youth. After this work, he was the sculptor who was entrusted with the most important works of national value, but also of other idyllic and lyric characters. He is the author of the Çerçiz Topulli monument in Gjirokastra, and dozens of monuments of freedom fighters, such as the “National Warrior” and others that were realized before the 1940s. And after many of them, one of his masterpieces comes along, the Skanderbeg's Portrait, which is considered the most complete for the National Hero. While in the period 1932-1937, several sculptural monuments, author's works, were set up in several cities of Albania. “Flamurtari” in Vlora, “Jeronim De Rada” and “Naim Frasheri” are works by Odhise Paskali.

1556780031_1vepra4

But among his hundreds of creations, there are many that have disappeared. It suffices to remember the works “The hungry” and “Girl's face”, who stayed at the King Zog I Palace and then ended up in Italy. That is why the works found in the “Minerva” of June 1935 are impressive and lead us to their footsteps. It is about original, accomplished works, and today it is not known where to find it. These are works that were evaluated at the time of the realization, which also points to the undisputed talent of the greatest Albanian sculptor.

1556780031_1paskali

In the “Minerva” newspaper of June 1935, the article titled “Five Works of Paskali” presents four new works, which also specify the time when the author made them, while also recognizing them with their image. More specially the article wrote about the Warrior-monument work, where only one fragment is published. 

Minerva wrote “Here below we are publishing four works by our sculptor Odhise Paskali together with the head of the Warrior who rules the main road of Korca. We are convinced that the vast majority of people who see the monument in Korca won’t fail to feel how perfect this work from Paskali is. To see all the beauty of a sculptural work, you need to know how to make a living, in other words you need to have enough artistic talent. The expression of the Warrior's face, in its entirety, is seen in the photograph we are publishing here: the object's eye of the photographer - which in this case is Odhise himself - has captured all the details of this expression. Indeed, without the shadow of the photograph, the eyes of the Warrior would not be so penetrating and so dynamic, and without the shadow seen under the nose and under the lips, the face would not have that expression of the brave and voluntary Albanian who is given after the ideal on the Creation of a Free and Independent Albania. And the Albanian Warrior who, with a rifle in his hand and giving up any good of this world, as a family, a position, a comfort, and the other, was taught by the National Cause, could not have, in the concept of an artist with talented and soulful, but this noble face, alive at times with the willpower-full-fledged dynamism and the extreme melancholy seriousness seen in the admirable work of our artist. Paskali’s Warrior perpetuates, through generations, our only national epic of pre-independence, showing us alive to the representative of the tremendous movement of idealists who worked and were sacrificed to secure the Freedom and Independence dreaming for us of the uninitiated theirs.”

Luftetari_odhisePaskali_flasshqip

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                    [post_title] => Four works of Odhise Paskali are discovered
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            [post_content] => TIRANA, May 23- The Center for Openness and Dialogue (COD) within the quarters of the Prime Minister’s office is displaying a special exhibition of 86 photos from the personal archive of diplomats Pietro and Larissa Quaroni about an Albania during 1928-1931, and its elitary rich families and politicians of the time. The photos were made by the Quaroni couple during their diplomatic mission at the Italian Embassy in Albania in this period of four years and most of them are exhibited for the first time for the public. The photographs of different sizes and are accompanied by two documentaries of the same period, one of them is from the “Luce” archive which is temporarily given for this exhibition, and shows the moment when Foreign Minister Dino Grandi visited Albania. For the first time it is possible to see in its entirety the rich archive of over 780 photographs, digitized for this occasion, and gifted to Albania by their granddaughter Cristina Quaroni. 

In this exhibition the visitor is given the opportunity to discover the Albanian events, people, everyday life, landscapes and traditions, as seen and lived by the Quaroni couple in an historical and social context, which presents a lot of interest: astonishing and authentic scenery, a realistic look not particularly common on political figures and characters who dominated the Albanian scene during the 1920s and 1930s. The diplomatic couple themselves have posed with traditional Albanian costumes, which are also exposed in this exhibition. After the Quaronis come to Albania, they start to get acquainted with the country's elite, they participate in dinners and receptions, and pull the threads of the time’s politics. We remind that Italy of this time is very close to Albania. Among all their daily engagements they also shot about hundreds of photographs of politicians, beys, and large Albanian families. 

During an info-session held at COD which was moderated by renowned journalist Blendi Fevziu, he mentioned that some of the important characters of the time displayed in these photographs rarely appear in our archives, such as the photo of one of the most beautiful women of Albania of those years, Sara Blloshmi, or personalities like Iliaz Vrioni and Eqerem Bej Vlora. Historian Nevila Nika also said on the perspectives these photographs offer in many disciplines, such as “architects can see how Tirana was in 1928, the sociologist or the anthropologist can see the clothing worn then and the social activities, those who study political science can see the politicians of those times.” She added that these pictures offer an important historical context because Albanian photography and its elements has suffered many losses in files and documents due to the various wars our country went through.

[caption id="attachment_141890" align="aligncenter" width="504"]60158720_871725509834259_9166835724480151552_n The Quaroni couple[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_141898" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania[/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_141893" align="aligncenter" width="900"]Prince Leka Prince Leka[/caption]

60788151_875741916099285_3898864495472148480_n

61027659_875822902757853_7416063778816524288_o

[caption id="attachment_141896" align="aligncenter" width="717"]Diplomat Rauf Fico (left_, and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right) Diplomat Rauf Fico (left), and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right)[/caption]

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