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

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 24, 2019 15:01

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

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  • 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.”

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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.

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The Quaroni couple

Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania

Cristina Quaroni (left) talking to Alberto Cutillo (right), Italian Ambassador to Albania

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Prince Leka

Prince Leka

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Diplomat Rauf Fico (left_, and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right)

Diplomat Rauf Fico (left), and former prime minister Koço Kotta (right)

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Tirana Times
By Tirana Times May 24, 2019 15:01