In the war of Bosnje, Radovan Karaxhic was calling the attention of a high official in the Serb army because the later had stopped the offensive for the destruction of a village close to Croatia. While the officer was explaining that the seizure of attacks was done to protect some monuments and a catholic church, he screamed at him saying that as long as there is no Orthodox Church in this village, no cultural monument or church will be spared. Filled with feelings of hatred and revenge hundreds of cultural monuments, works of art and historical evidences disappeared.
The call of Pope John Paul II, in 1993, to the eastern countries, asking them to be more careful about the heroes and their graves, was a reaction towards the violent actions in destroying the statues and graves of former communist leaders.
During the break up of Soviet Union, the public opinion was attracted by a cronical from Lithuania, which transmitted the moment of removing the statue of Lenin from the central park of the capital, for the care and applause of citizens whilst accompanying it to the gallery. It was a double honor that the catholic citizens of Lithuania were paying to the well-known personality and to a piece of art that had been for several years in their environment.
Unfortunately in Albania such actions were more violent and without any meaning. Taking out the remainings of Enver Hoxha, the destructions of monuments of heroes and of many other works of art was a bad example of our civic and political behavior.
No nation can be brutal with its protagonists and heroes, regardless the time they belong to. Hundreds of monuments, embellishing the national roads, were destroyed together with the springs and relaxing areas. In 1993, in the town of Rrėshen, the head of administration ordered the destruction of the monument of four heroes of Mirditė and of the monuments of Ndrec Ndue Gjoka, Bardhok Biba and Pal Mėlyshi. This action, at that time, was condemned by all the public opinion, considering it as a severe violation of the tradition of the area, which even during the highest political confrontations, have not demonstrated the smallest sign of violence.
The teacher Ndrec Ndue Gjoka and the four heroes of Mirditė shared their blood for a cause that did not appertain merely to the socialist system. -Even if they appertain to that system, they are heroes and can not be touched this is what the citizens said.
In Kruje district, besides the destruction of the monument of Shote and Azem Galica, it was also damaged the monument of the national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skėnderbeu. But the worst goes even deeper and we can also say that it is institutionalized in the National Historic Museum all the sections describing the National -Liberation period and building the socialist system are removed. There has remained only one section called Communist Genocide. The same happened with national pieces of art during the dictatorship period. The directorate of National Museum did not dare to return the very interesting materials referring the period of the liberation war as well as to the period for building the socialist system. The current personnel of the National Historic Museum, although with high professional qualities, cannot act upon personal initiative towards a decision taken long time ago by the government and the parliament. Worse than this, the Ministry of Culture, Gallery of Arts or the International Center of Culture continue to work with the same mentality. These institutions should react not only towards the situation for the preservation of national historical and cultural values but also regarding the financial needs of these institutions.
It is the right as well as the obligation of these institutions to hold accountable many acts taken by the administration during the transition period, which acted irresponsibly towards the national treasure. When nowadays, we see works such as that of Fan Noli in front of the Academy of Science, or a contemporary sculpture in front of the building of the Political persecuted, or an obelisk made of steel, symbol of 12 bajraktars of Mirdite, we regret the abuse as well as the low level of art.
It can be appropriate that pieces of art, in their historic and esthetic function, to be present, just like before, in public places. Lushnje square would not be as nice as it is today if the sculpture of Perikli Ēuli would be removed.
Our country, Albania, misinformed and malformed by politics continues to destroy everything and to lose cultural, historical and national values. In every commune in the western cities, amongst the green parks, there are plenty of sculptures, playgrounds, clubs, culture centers, libraries, etc, that are administered by the Local government. These institutions and streets have names of important people coming from various periods, regardless the regime they used to pertain.
During the last year, it was discussed several times about the return of Former King Zog remaining in Albania, in particular after the return of his family in the country. But the current governmental officials and politicians were not able to complete such a human act before the death of Queen Geraldine. This cycle of depreciations, destructions and political antagonisms, without a sign of civilization, continues to follow us after the respective show of politicians.
Enver Hoxha and Ahmet Zog were leaders of the Albanian state for a long period of time, and have created an experience that is considered valuable to be recognized. From the historic point of view, regardless the mistakes and the violent means used to preserve the power, they remain leaders who funded and represented with dignity the state of Albanian in front of the other nations. Due to the vitality and the powerful state that they established, in a specific country such as ours, they are considered as men of state and cannot be wiped out from the history. Today it is very difficult to discuss with communists about the building of a memorial to Ahmet Zog, as well as to discuss with Zog or Balli supporters, or members of right wing parties, about putting the portrait of Enver Hoxha in a public place.
In this regards, the common people have a better judgment than the politicians and party militants. Most of the citizens would gladly accept the initiative to have in the National Heroes Graveyard a separate section for the most well known personalities and leaders of our country.
Today, after a decade of pluralism, everybody understands that the portrait of Enver Hoxha and Musine Kokalari, regardless their antagonist beliefs and ideas, would very naturally stand next to each other in the museum of their native town in Gjirokastėr, just like the portraits of Bardhok Biba and Mark Gjon Marku in Mirditė.