How the Whale Entered the Pyramid

A while ago, Pim was wondering where the “big beak” inside the pyramid came from. Today I found the answer, by accident. As my friends from Aleanca LGBT were making a graffiti last on your on the Day Against Homophobia, May 17, they saw the following procession happening, carrying the skeleton into the pyramid. So: mystery solved. (Next mystery: why did they want to put it inside?)

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The ”Dark Side” of the Pyramid

As mentioned earlier on this blog, the enormous pyramid on the crossroad of the main boulevard and the Lana, opened in 1988 as a museum for the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha, has been the scenery for various activities. After the fall of communism in 1991 it was used as a conference center and party venue; during the 1999 Kosovo War it was used as a NATO base; since 2001 the national commercial television station Top Channel is settled in the back part of the pyramid (by then the building was already officially renamed International Center for Culture); for years the front part has been used as a venue for conventions and cultural events and even facilitated a popular dance club, until only a few years ago.

Urban cleaning ladies improvise a place to sit and chat

Focusing on the current activity inside of the pyramid, an imaginary line dividing the front part from the back part of the building can be drawn. The back part of the building emits constant activity; being a big transmitter of popular television programs. In contrast, the front entrance of the building – introduced by a symmetrically organized park with stairs and dead fountains – is slatternly barricaded with random pieces of wood and metal plates; being totally closed for the outside world. Since the front part of the Pyramid has been abandoned, the condition of the structure started to run back in big steps. In only little time the white marble on the banks disappeared; immature graffiti is being employed all over; many windows are smashed and holes are closed in a poor looking manner. Asking Tirana’s inhabitants about the building, everybody agrees that the pyramid should be restored in its original form, open to the public in a way to not forget about the past. Top Channel journalist Alisa Mysliu to an American journalist about the pyramid: ”It’s part of us. Even communism, even the good things. It’s a part of our country. It’s part of our history. Have you destroyed everything in your country that brings you bad memories?” Sadly enough the authorities gave up on the pyramid last year, allowing the consummation of a passive destruction if not actively breaking it down.

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Bosnian Pyramids

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, with it’s height of 220 meters, it’s much higher than the Great Pyramid of Egypt, which was originally 147. The Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon, 190 meters, also higher than the Keopsove Pyramid. The third, the Bosnian Pyramid of the Dragon, with the other two – the sun and the moon – form the perfect triangle with the distance of 2.2 kilometers.

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A look at the proposal of Coop Himmelb(l)au for a new parliament

As Vincent already pointed out in this earlier post, there have been plans to erect a new parliament in the middle of Tirana. Those plans come from the probably most renowned architecture firm of Vienna, Coop Himmelb(l)au.

It is interesting to see how the protest surrounding the buildup of this massive project is being viewed at by the architects themselves, within the Austrian media. The first interview that comes to my mind is one being shown in der standard. Here, “front-man” Wolf D. Prix gives an interview where he talks about the lack of student revolts in Vienna, which according to him are not fierce enough and show symptoms of a generation that has become lethargic and lazy. Continue reading