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Professors of archeology from the USA demand the annulment of the decision to merge the ASA

Professors of archeology from the USA demand the annulment of the decision to

A group of American professors and archaeologists published an open letter on Thursday in which they oppose the decision of the Council of Ministers to merge the Academy of Albanological Studies, ASA.

17 professors of archeology from more than a dozen American universities raise the concern that the government's decision-making was made without consulting their Albanian colleagues and argue that it endangers the academic freedom of archaeologists and undermines the achievements so far.

"The archaeologists of the Institute of Archeology have not been consulted on this plan, which will greatly affect them and their ability to work. The decision to place the ASA and the Institute of Archeology under the Academy of Sciences without an agreement will increase bureaucracy and supervision, undermining academic freedom and research" , is raised among other concerns in the letter.

The letter, signed by archaeologists who have worked earlier in Albania and recognize the concerns of their colleagues, points out that the government's plan is not transparent in terms of financial impact and that it would negatively affect the development of Albanian archaeology.

"In recent years, Albanian archaeology, directed by the archaeologists of the Institute of Archaeology, has finally taken its place in the international arena. We are concerned that placing ASA under the Academy of Sciences will derail this new spirit ," the letter states.

The professors have also listed successful joint projects, including the "First Kings of Europe" exhibition. They call on the government to reconsider the decision-making and to consult archaeologists on the future of Albanian archaeology.

The letter joins another launched earlier by over 100 academics, activists and civil society organizations from Albania and Europe who opposed the ASA merger.

The Academy of Albanian Studies is the institution that includes the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies (IAKSA), the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute of Linguistics and Literature, the Institute of History and the Albanian Encyclopedia Center.

A week ago, the government decided to merge this institution to make it subordinate to the Academy of Sciences of Albania, despite criticism of this project.

The Academy of Sciences is currently headed by Skënder Gjinushi, a politician, who was elected to the position after the Socialist Party passed legal changes. Meanwhile, two socialist MPs have proposed further legal changes to enable Gjinushi to have another mandate as chairman, since the existing law, approved by the socialists themselves, provided otherwise. Reporter.al 

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