Enver Hoxha’s Pyramid

The Pyramid, once upon a time

One of the main pyramids in Albania is the hotly debated never-used-as-such mausoleum/museum of communist dictator Enver Hoxha. It has, however been used as club, NATO HQ during the Kosovo war, and international cultural center (that’s still the official name I think). Currently part of it houses the offices of TOP Channel. It was designed by Enver Hoxha’s daughter and son-in-law (I think they or she are also responsible for a monument by the Durrës seaside, which employs the same type of architectural forms), and opened in 1988, only a few years before the fall of the communist regime.

Currently it is hotly debated whether it should be pulled down or not. Basically, the Socialist Party is against destruction, the Democratic Party is in favor. As yet, it’s still undecided whether the Pyramid is a horrible reminder of communism, or one of the few genuinely original architectural structures in Tirana, and a potential attraction for tourists.

Now that the marble slabs that once covered it have been removed (by whom?), the concrete structure is left to deteriorate slowly. During the riots in January last year (today one year ago exactly), I remember seeing fellow citizens breaking remaining pieces of marble, hurling them down at the military police.

Protests of January 21, 2011

It’s by now a famous graffiti spot (the first graffitis appeared last year after the football match Albania-Bosnia and were left by Kosovar supporters most probably), children climb up and down on its slopes, and youths enjoy their joints on its top, overlooking the Tirana skyline. No visit to Tirana without climbing the Pyramid.

There are plans to make the grounds of the Pyramid the location for the new, sanitized and anti-bacterial parliament building, a multigazillion project designed by 1%-architects Coop Himmelb(l)au. I wonder where they will get the money to do so…

Coop Himmelb(l)au's "Open Parliament" design

The historian Ardian Klosi started petition, gathering 6000 autographs against the demolition of the Pyramid, but recently he tried to commit suicide

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3 thoughts on “Enver Hoxha’s Pyramid

  1. Pingback: A look at the proposal of Coop Himmelb(l)au for a new parliament | Albanian Pyramids

  2. Pingback: The ”Dark Side” of the Pyramid | Albanian Pyramids

  3. We should keep the pyramid and put a person-like statue of gjergj kastrioti skenderbej, without a horse 😀

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