'Cultural Crime is Happening in Butrint'
Albanian Daily News
Published October 4, 2017
A cultural crime is happening in the Archaeological Park of Butrint, where permission has been issued to pour concrete exactly in the area where no construction is allowed. The construction is being set up near a prehistoric wall, which dates back to the 7-8th century BC. The professor and archaeologist, Neritan Ceka, openly reacted over this scandal. He addressed a message directly to Prime Minister Edi Rama but no answer has yet been given. He also urged to the prosecution to intervene by inspecting the works in process and verifying the documents issued by the National Council of Restoration and the National Council of Archeology.
Speaking about this issue during an interview given to newsbomb.al Ceka labels this idea as absurd on view of the fact that Butrint archaeological park has not much space a coffee shop will cause a lot of problems.
"The risks deriving from the construction of a coffee-shop in an archaeological center are extensive. Where will the water flow generated by the coffee-shop end? The absolute necessity for a bathroom generates even more troubles. The Minister of Culture, Mirela Kumbaro has absolutely no clue about this because she is a megalomaniac woman," accused Ceka.
According to him, Butrint's restoration was done through a tender, another unimaginable gaffe, because when an old falls down it is reconstructed in the same form as before.
"If you take a look over there you notice that this wall has been recently constructed, while the restoration aim is to hide this fact. The new wall should present the same parameters of the old one. The fact is that the beautiful stone wall was made with large rocks. It came down due to negligence," he added.
Ceka declared that the idea of a coffee-shop within the Butrint Archeological Park has been presented long time ago.
"I was the one that created this park in 1971 in the framework of the First Assembly of Illyrian Studies. I was the person in charge of works that were done in Butrint and Apollonia during that period due to the fact that I worked in the Institute of Monuments. Since then it was decided to set-up the restaurant outside the park's walls," said Ceka.
According to him the changes in Butrint should be approved by two bodies, The National Council of Restoration that assesses the changes which need to be made, evaluates the premise's dimension in order to define if other monuments are infringed or shadowed. This decision may be taken only by the National Council of Restoration that should have been already summoned on this issue. I am not aware if such meeting has already taken place or if they are action is based on the principle "This is our house so we do as it pleases us the most!"
"I am afraid that we're dealing with the 2nd part of my reasoning. The 2nd body that should decide on this change is the National Council of Archaeology, because there's the necessity for a septic hole, an area for garbage' throwing or for other indispensable services. There will also be a porch or encirclement. Everything should be archaeologically proven due to the fact that this is an archaeological site. The construction process should be preceded by an archaeological survey. I think that neither of these steps has been taken," he underlined.