Governments Come and Go While Heritage is Permanent
By By Erjon Tase
Albanian Daily News
Published March 31, 2016

TIRANA - The instruction published recently related to the way of administration of culture monuments, brought to attention a repeated issue in the Ministry of Culture. Despite Kumbaro's (Minister of Culture) public statement to alleviate the situation, there remain some issues to which she did not respond, and which bring concerns related to the future of cultural and historical heritage monuments.

Firstly, the Minister's instruction was made in total lack of transparence, by excluding interest groups, and apparently even the expertise of other public institutions. Since Kumbaro finds examples on this instruction from European countries perhaps she should apply these good practices regarding the obligation of public consultation during the drafting of legislation and bylaws.

European Union formalized the obligation of public consultation during legislative process years ago. In Kumbaro's case, there was no prior information. She should necessarily open a discussion with all actors and civil society.

Secondly, the so far experience has shown that partnership with private companies were not positive. The case of Petrela Castle and that of Lekures were the best evidence about how far the greed of private companies can go and the lack of professional control from state institutions.

Minister of Culture should have prepared the field for public managers' training and the forming the public controlling structures of these partnerships with private companies, before another monument will be permanently damaged. This is the only way we will be guaranteed that the future of castles and monuments for lease will be safer managed by private companies. As the Prime Minister, Rama, prefers to repeat, a proper system should be formed so that people can stay on the right track. The Ministry of Culture rush to invite private companies in administering monuments has apparently forgotten the system, which will control people. Unfortunately, ministers and governments come and go, but heritage is permanent.

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