The past

Especially communist states love to create big statues of their leaders. But what to do with them when times change? In some countries they were simply destroyed, others created exhibitions like the Memento Park near Budapest, Hungary. In Tirana, Albania the big memorials have just been moved into the backyard of the national art gallery Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve. Without any explanation these contemporary witnesses are standing there like an odd silent crowd.

Albanian national gallery, Tirana
Albanian national gallery, Tirana

The biggest one is that of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin once standing in front of a factory. He is accompanied by Wladimir Iljitsch Uljanow, called Lenin and former Albanian Leader Enver Hoxha. But here are also memorials in the special style of that time – a worker grabbing his weapon, a young woman ready to fight. The latter is a depictation you especially don’t see in Western European countries. That’s something I really liked about visiting the national art gallery: seeing gender equality in artworks of that time.

The backyard is always open and freely accessible – just go to the museum with the cloud artwork (REJA) in front and get to the reverse side of the building.

Stalin, Lenin & friends
Behind Galeria Kombëtare e Arteve

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