Delegation to AlbaniaDear Sir,I believe it is only right that you should know that feelings of dismay still resonate throughout Albanian society to do with the significant hope and expectations invested in the appointment of your Excellency being shattered on your publication on Twitter of a photo of Erion Veliaj with some children.As are most beginnings of a new posting, no matter how thoroughly prepped, it is neither possible for you to know the individual referred to, nor his efforts to attract young and old, using the most disgusting mannerisms. These mannerisms of his have become the subject matter of cartoons, mockery, jokes, which also translate into a great deal of concern. All this would be easy for you to verify.
The Mayor of Tirana Municipality is one of the politicians who, – parallel to all the rest of the damage they have caused – have been trying to demolish the building of the old National Theater, a monument of multiple, important cultural and historical values. For these efforts to succeed they have stooped to the most loathsome of means. And they are unconstitutional means in the circumstances when the one and the same government has left the country without a functioning Constitutional Court. Instead of the monument of multiple cultural and historical values they plan to erect, apart from a so-called “new theatre”, hugely profitable complexes – to be built with what else other than suspect monies.
To accomplish this, the Mayor has fallen to the most undignified, or more appropriately put, disgusting levels. His verbal effusions against a section of the artists and citizens whose opinions differ to his, identify with such a vile gutter jargon which if I translated would certainly grate on your ears. He has absolutely no intention of apologizing to the public against whom a Mayor proclaims war; a public whose voice you have yet to hear. You haven’t heard them Mr. Ambassador, because Albania is a country under censorship: the media are muzzled and are not allowed to express the indignation of this public, to keep Albanian society at large, those who are against the destructive Veliaj & Rama plan, informed.
The protest of these people in defense of the National Theatre, as a monument of multiple cultural and historical values, began back in February and it perseveres, every day. There has been no rest for these people. They were present every day of the Summer months, in the protest in front of the building earmarked for demolition.
Your arrival, nonetheless , was a source of encouragement for them. You come at a moment when an important part of Albanian society feels discouraged by certain foreign diplomats even though you have important media access. Erion Veliaj has all the media outlets and the propaganda machine behind him. Your posting on Twitter can only have a negative impact, making him on the other hand, feel even more supported. Please be informed that Albanian society does have others who deserve your attention. Albanian society does not only have a Mayor of Tirana who lacks any kind of quality professional background apart from an NGO agitation track record, a Prime Minister who is his personal political tutor.
If you were to be informed about the means Albania’s opinionated Prime Minister uses, opposing the most distinguished of intellectuals of this country, then you would be briefed, for example, on recent comparisons the Prime Minister has drawn equating himself to Engineer Gustave Eiffel. Amongst the senseless delusions with which he struggles to brainwash public opinion is also the way he compares the “new theatre “ which he offers as a ‘donation” to the Albanians, to the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, no one has opposed or protested against the construction of a “new theatre,” wherever that may be built in Tirana, and even less so the protesters.
The protest of the people of the theatre, the architects, cultural heritage experts, historians, etc. ,who make up those groups in society sensitive to this issue, has been spearheaded against the demolition of the existing National Theatre as a monument of multiple cultural and historical values and not against a “new theatre. “
With futile efforts, Mr. Rama has even tried to denigrate Maupassant, with his conviction that if the great writer were alive, the Albanian Prime Minister would have convinced him to change his mind. To tell the truth, as you can imagine, if Maupassant were truly alive, such a character as this Prime Minister would have been a golden inspiration for his satirical works. Therefore, please have the courtesy, and make it happen that Albanian society does not feel such disappointment, because it has suffered more than ever these past few years the trials and tribulations of emigration – relevant facts and figures proving this are readily available. You know far better than we do that Europe can not support the emigrants.
I, the author of these lines, was a stage producer and lecturer. After 18 years of study and professional activity in France, I returned to contribute to this work in my own country, but I was compelled to leave for a second time because the government in office today treats the artists barbarously. And not just the artists, of course. I also had to leave because in contrast to my colleagues in Albania, who are compelled to keep their mouths shut and tow the line at the real risk of losing their livelihoods, I did not keep my mouth shut. Those of us who do not remain silent or refuse to buckle under soon find out that there is no employment for them in Albania. The experience of France and the protection it extends me, oblige me not to remain silent, not to conform, but to speak out also on behalf of those who can’t; and also to write to you.
Please accept, honoured Ambassador, my considerations of the highest respect,
Original source: Hashtag.al