Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The pyramid of Enver Hoxha in Tirana

A concrete-glass pyramid, standing in the centre of Tirana - the legend of the city, the meeting spot of Albanian youth, the centre of artistic expression, and in the past the museum of Enver Hoxha, might soon pass away. In July last year, 72 of 72 albanian deputees decided to demolish it for the new building of parliament. The pyramid of Hoxha was erected in 1987, two years after dictator's death for gigantic sum of 700 mln dollars...the project designed by his daughter - Pranvera. Uncle Enver planned to create there museum of himself. 
When the communism in Albania collapsed, the pyramid was transformed to the cultural centre, then a nigh club, cafe and studio of a local television. Albanian journalists enjoyed here macchiatos and cheap albanian cigarettes while discussing the issues of the day.
Over time, the masterpiece of socialistic architecture became an attraction for kids, who discovered they could climb up the building's sloping walls and slide down to the ground. Obviously, in Tirana, the best option to arrange a meeting is "under the pyramide". The building is perfect also for graffiti-painters who could express their artistic skills (or lack of them), presentation of political views and expressing feelings of course. In 2007, President G. W. Bush delivered his speech here, becoming the first US leader who visited Albania.
In spite of placing the pyramid on a cultural heritage list in 2003, the government decided to get rid of a communistic symbol, not considering the 79% public opinion's objection. If the new parliament is built here, it is supposed to open for business in November this year – in time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albania’s independence from under 5-centuries-long Turks occupation.

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