Image 23 of 36
< Prev Next >
Albania. Tirana. Three teenagers run up the slopes of the Pyramid to get to the top of the building. The Pyramid, also called International Center of Culture, is a structure and former museum that opened on October 14, 1988, formerly known as the "Enver Hoxha Museum". Its angled shape structure vaguely reminiscent of a pyramid was designed by the daughter and son-in-law of the late communist leader Enver Hoxha. It was originally intended to be a mausoleum and museum for the country's deceased leader Enver Hoxha. It served as a museum about his legacy. Then came in 1991 the collapse of communism. Albania's transition from isolated Stalinist state to aspiring member of the EU has been reflected in the fortunes of Tirana's pyramid. In 1991, the building was renamed in honor of persecuted activist Pjeter Arbnori and became a conference center and exhibition venue. During the 1999 conflict in Kosovo, NATO set up a humanitarian headquarters inside the pyramid. In 2001, Albanian television station Top Channel moved in. In 2010, the Albanian government decided to raze the pyramid and build a sleek new parliament building in its place. The pyramid, however, still stands. Though many would like to destroy the specter of communist rule, a vociferous group Albanian intellectuals, activists, and even former political prisoners of Hoxha are in favor of its preservation. Ther argument: history, no matter how dark or ugly, must be remembered. As debate continues (2016), the pyramid sits dilapidated and vandalized, awaiting an uncertain future. Tirana is the capital and largest city of Republic of Albania. 24.11.1998 © 1998 Didier Ruef