Kadare’s museum house turns popular tourist attraction

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 30, 2017 17:21

Kadare’s museum house turns popular tourist attraction

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  • "The majority of visitors are tourists who visit Gjirokastra and cannot leave without seeing the Kadare house because he is well-known among almost all of them, but there are also local fans who have not missed a single Kadare work," says Bruno Pjetri, a tourist guide at Kadare's museum house

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TIRANA, Jan. 30 – One year after the reopening of Ismail Kadare’s house as a museum, the home of Albania’s internationally renowned writer and perennial Nobel candidate has turned into one of the most visited heritage sites in the stone city of Gjirokasra, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Albania.

Bruno Pjetri, a tourist guide at Kadare’s museum house, says there’s huge interest by Kadare readers including foreigners who have learned about Kadare from the translation of his works into 45 languages.

“The majority of visitors are tourists who visit Gjirokastra and cannot leave without seeing the Kadare house because he is well-known among almost all of them, but there are also local fans who have not missed a single Kadare work,” Pjetri tells VoA in the local Albanian service.

The Kadare house has also turned into a host of Albanian culture and literature events, bringing together scholars and journalists.

Aleksander Çipa, the head of the Union of Albanian Journalists, said the Kadare house, where an event on his contribution as a publicist and journalist was held, should also serve as an inspiration for journalists to focus more on national culture values.

“The birthday of Albania’s greatest writer should also serve as an inspiration to turn attention to national culture and literature in general and values we aspire to such as the society’s moral integration,” said Çipa at an event organized at the Kadare museum house on the writer’s 81st birthday last weekend.

“The Kadare house was chosen to bring to the attention of Albanian journalists the idea that museum assets featuring Albania’s cultural heritage are a necessity to provide both the Albanian and foreign public opinion with an approach for this wonderful heritage and cultural reference Albania offers,” he added.

The 17th century house of Albania’s internationally renowned writer Ismail Kadare in his hometown of Gjirokastra reopened as a museum following reconstruction in January 2016, when the perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature marked his 80th birthday and 2016 was celebrated as the Kadare Year with a series of events.

An internationally renowned poet, novelist and essayist, Ismail Kadare has been perennial candidate for the Nobel Prize for literature. His international acclaim for his works peaked in 2005 when he won the Man Booker International Prize.

Kadare, known for writing about Albania’s totalitarian government, has had his works translated into more than 40 languages, the most famous of which is “The General of the Dead Army.”

Back in 2015, Kadare, was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for his works expressing and promoting the idea of the “freedom of the individual in society.” He was also honored with a flag ceremony at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Last year, Albania’s internationally renowned writer was promoted to the rank of Commander in the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration, as a reward for outstanding merit in a civilian capacity in the country where he has been spending most of his time since 1990 when he left Albania just as the communist regime was collapsing.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 30, 2017 17:21