Durres, Albania (Tirana Echo) – The Town Hall of Durres, the principal port city of Albania and one of the most important archeological sites in the Adriatic has ignored all archaeological heritage requirements in force by starting public works without proper cultural heritage evaluations and necessary permissions.
According to BIRN, Durres local authorities signed off on a monitoring programme with the Archaeological Institute and the Archaeological Salvage Agency only two months after the “Veliera” project was already under way.
Most of the underground work has already started on a €6 million project to rehabilitate a public area close to the main Port Terminal, while the two agencies responsible for the preservation of archeological potentials in the ancient city were invited to monitor work two months after the start of digging, instead of several months during the feasibility phase.
Durres is the second largest municipality of Albania and one of the most ancient inhabited cities in the world with the ancient city of Dyrrhachium lying underneath the modern buildings. The city was the stage of the 48BC famous battle between Julius Caesar and the army led by Gnaeus Pompey with the backing of the majority of the Roman Senate.
The construction site is situated a few yards from the ancient Roman wall and the Venetian Tower while representatives of several interest groups and civil society organizations have accused Durres Mayor Vangjush Dako of destroying the archaeological treasures in the ancient city.
The new ‘Veliera’ Square will be 12,000 square meters large while the reconstruction projects costs €6 million euros.
Durres has suffered decades of improper cultural and archaeological attention from state authorities while chronic corruption and the nonexistence of institutional responsibility have resulted in several cases of abuse with numerous building permissions which have in large stubbornly ignored cultural heritage legislation in power.
Copyright 2017 Tirana Echo. Source: BIRN.