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World Monuments Day, VOA: Dozens of them in Albania in critical condition, the factors that endanger them

World Monuments Day, VOA: Dozens of them in Albania in critical condition, the

April 18 marks the World Monuments Day, many of which are in critical condition in Albania as a result of natural degradation, neglect by state bodies or damage caused by human hands.

One of the most endangered monuments is the "Gateway Wall" in Porto Romano, in Durrës, which the European cultural organization "Europa Nostra" recently included in the 11 most endangered objects of European cultural heritage, but without classifying it in a list of 7 objects where the organization is expected to intervene this year with funding.

The archaeological monument "Muri i Portë" dating from the Roman period, included the remains of a wall, which once closed the narrow strip of land, between the sea and the marsh, and has been under the protection of the Albanian authorities since 1948 as a Monument of the Category of First.

"The Port Wall", says Geri Emiri of the non-governmental organization "Amfora" in Durrës, has been seriously damaged in recent years during the works of the concessionary company Porti MBM (Multi Buoy Mooring) for the construction of the port in Porto Romano.

In 2015, the Albanian Parliament approved the concession for the construction of a hydrocarbon port in Porto-Romano as well as its operation for a period of 35 years, and the contract was amended in 2020, when the company was also granted the right to expand its activity as a commercial port.

According to the assessment of heritage experts, almost half of the western wall has been irreversibly damaged during the works after 2020, while the rest remains at risk.

"A chain of institutions of justice, culture and the territory, failed to stop the damage to the monument in Porto-Romano, although they were alerted in time by the organization "Amfora", says Mr. Emiri.

The location of the fragment of the remaining wall according to Mr. Emiri is too exposed, from the loading-unloading of cargo port materials and pollution from port activity is another threat.

Contacted by the Voice of America for a reaction regarding the announcement of the "Gate Walls" Monument in Durrës in the "7 most endangered" program in Europe in February of this year, the National Institute of Cultural Heritage said that it had taken the necessary measures from of 2019.

"Based on the Law on Cultural Heritage and Museums, the specialized institutions under the Ministry of Culture (now the Ministry of Economy, Culture and Innovation) since 2019 have taken all the necessary measures in accordance with the legislation in force on cultural heritage for interventions in the cultural property 'Walls in Porto Romano', Durrës," said the response of the Voice of America Institute./VOA


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