27.08.2012 - UNESCO Office in Venice

Albanian Pavilion: “In Heritage” inaugurated

©UNESCO/O.Jovanovska - Inauguration of the Albanian Pavilion

Today, at the premises of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, seated in Venice (Palazzo Zorzi, Castello 4930), the Pavilion of Albania entitled In Heritage was inaugurated, as part of the Venice Biennale 13th International Exhibition of Architecture.

“It is a great honor for me, on behalf of Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, to host the Pavilion of Albania in Palazzo Zorzi and to receive you here in the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe for the opening of the Pavilion within the 13th International Architecture Exhibition “Common Ground”, said Ms. Yolande Valle-Neff, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, in her inauguration speech.

Ms. Valle-Neff underlined that UNESCO has a long history of working with Albania. Within the One UN Programme, UNESCO has supported the country in preserving and promoting the cultural heritage, in preventing the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage and other illegal actions, and to improve management and risk preparedness at World Heritage and other cultural sites throughout the country.

“I was pleased to observe that the Pavilion includes projects related to the National History Museum, the castle of Vilbashtova, etc. These have been only some of the institutions/objects that UNESCO has been closely supporting and it feels great to see that they continue to have the attention of the relevant authorities and experts. This Pavilion also is the demonstration that, whatever is the history  undergone by a Nation and its people, its heritage is always a value on which to build the future. Protecting heritage is not only to safeguard extraordinary places for the enlightenment and enjoyment of future generations, but most important, for fostering the dialogue among cultures and is the foundation for the reconciliation and development of societies. This shared cultural, artistic and architectural heritage is indeed the common ground that creates the synergy for development and growth”, noted Ms. Valle-Neff.

This is the second participation of Albania to the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The first participation was in 2010, also with the support of the UNESCO Office in Venice.

The exhibition In Heritage presents new modern approaches in Albania to art and architecture. In the exhibition, the visitor is proposed to revisit the concepts of cultural heritage and town planning, and led through some of the most important sites of Albania, including:

  • Korça (Korce), The Villa of Themistocles;
  • Berati (Berat), the Castle, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
  • Tirana, The National History Museum of Albania, Grimshaw Architects' competition winners Tirana Boulevard 2012;
  • Gjirokastra (Gjirokastër), the old town of Gjirokastra, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
  • Shkodra (Shkodër), an ancient historical city;
  • Porto Palermo, an underwater tunnel project;
  • Around Albania, communist military Bunkers;
  • Bashtova, “The action of project”.

The exhibit is curated by the Architect Ilir Voci. Mr. Voci is a specialist in urban planning, receiving his degree from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Tirana. During his career he was Director of the Urban Planning Department at the Ministry of Public Works of Albania, Professor of Architecture for tourism attractions at Fan Noli University, and has had various specializations in the fields of architecture, planning and tourism management.

The exhibit will be open daily Tuesday – Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00 from 29 August until 29 November 2012.

Press Release: N°2012-01

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