The United States has allocated a grant of almost $ 800,000 to the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Heritage, for the restoration of fortifications in Kruja, Durres and Preza, which were damaged by the November 26 earthquake.
The US Ambassador, Yuri Kim and the Minister of Culture, Elva Margariti, were in Kruja today where the $ 800,000 grant agreement was signed.
"Today marks the start of the project to restore cultural sites (sites) damaged by the November 26 earthquake in Kruja, Durres and Preza as part of the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Heritage Preservation (AFCP) Project," expresses Kim.
"Since its establishment in 2001, the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Heritage has provided financial support for more than 1000 projects in over 125 countries around the world. "These commitments show how deeply the United States respects the cultural heritage of other countries."
“In Albania, we have worked on numerous projects through this fund, including the restoration of Gallery no. 3 of the Castle in Gjirokastra, the documentation of Albanian Iso-Polyphonic music, as well as the preservation of the Clock Tower in Tirana. Today, we are signing a grant of about $ 800,000 for the restoration of fortifications in Kruja, Durres, and Preza. I am pleased to note that this is our largest project of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Heritage in Albania to date. I want to thank Lejla Hadzic and her team "Cultural Heritage without Borders", Minister Margariti, Arta Dollani and her team of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage, our partners in the World Heritage Fund and local experts for their passion and commitment to this initiative. "I would also like to thank the Prince Clause Fund of the Netherlands and the Swedish International Cooperation and Development Agency for their contributions to these cultural preservation efforts," Kim said.
She informed that this 2-year project will start working on Tower C in Durrës, and then will continue with the work on the Dolma Tekke here in Kruja, the medieval Castle of Preza and the Clock Tower of Kruja Castle .
"All these countries have an extraordinary cultural value and I am especially happy that I am signing this Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of these AFCP grants here in Kruja, which is the home of Skanderbeg, the national hero of Albania. The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote about Skanderbeg's return to Kruja: And with a heart full of joy He crossed the river Drin And dawned and roared Without the castle Ak-Hissar, Kruja, ah that city Around the wall and with a ditch, To u "Lint and to-grow, My morning star to shine," said Kim.
"Reading these inspiring lines about the meaning of Kruja, I am deeply honored that the United States will play a role in preserving this historic site, which has such a profound meaning for the Albanian people. "This cultural preservation project shows the value that the United States attaches to Albania's rich heritage, and my hope is that the work completed will stand as a testament to the deep friendship between our two peoples," said Ambassador Kim.
Thanking the Ambassador, on behalf of the Albanian Government, among others, the Minister of Culture, Margariti said that, “preserving the memory is one of the most important missions of humanity, therefore the Albanian Government, along with the reconstruction of areas affected by earthquake, based on the vision for the future, for a better life, we are working to restore these monuments.
"The memorandum we are signing today is just a piece of that major project we want to move forward, which has to do not only with preserving memory, but also with revitalizing our material heritage and turning it into an engine of economic development. stable ", said Margariti.
She added that, “we already have some good examples, which we are working to replicate in other cities of Albania, such as the Bazaar of Gjirokastra, the Bazaar of Tirana, Korça, Kruja, realized in cooperation with the Fund Albanian-American Development and other partners. "They are evidence of how cultural heritage can be turned into a factor of development not only local, but national."
"We are only in the first phase of consolidation. Work has already started in several sectors in parallel, with the support of our European partners, such as in Tower C in Durrës, here in Kruja where we are today, and will be followed by other steps that aim to give life to this heritage, and which until now has been considered as an asset only to be preserved, and which we want to return to the service of the community ", said Margariti.
After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Ambassador Kim visited the National Historical Museum "Gjergj Kastriot Skënderbeu", and toured the Kruja Bazaar, where she met some of the artisans who keep alive the crafts of carpet, wood, filigree, etc.