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Austria – Albania bound together by history and culture

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TIRANA, Jan 26 / ATA/By A. Alla/ Art and culture have been shown to serve as bridges of communication between peoples and as the best tools to bring them together.

Cultural and economic cooperation between Albania and Austria has been a long-standing tradition and can be regarded as one of the most important features of excellent relations between the two countries.

The historic documents and images of Albania and Austrian-Hungarian monarchy during 1916-1918 were displayed on Friday at a photo exhibition and scientific conference in the venues of the National Historic Museum as part of the opening of cultural year Austria – Albania, 2018.

Entitled “Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and Albania 1916-1918”, the exhibition features documents and photos spanning the period 1916-1918 , when Austria-Hungary administered more than half of the Albanian territory.

The photo exhibition showcased a miscellaneous collection of photos evoking the relations which are etched in the memory of the generation that has lived that period.

The photos that received most attention in this exhibition were the images of Albanian women dressed in folk costumes and of highlanders from Mirdita.

Another interesting feature were the images of Tirana, Durres, Elbasan, the cities under the influence of Austrian-Hungarian monarchy in our country during 1916-1918.

At the launch of cultural year Austria-Albania 2018, minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro said that it is a remarkable chance that the cultural year dedicated to Austria coincides with the year of our national hero, Scanderbeg.

Such coincidences have constantly marked the history between our two countries,

” Uncovering the common threads in the history and culture of both peoples is like walking the trail of light and dark where documented history is the only guide. Fortunately, we start off the year of Albanian-Austrian relations with a cultural and historic itinerary, with a photo showcase of Albania during World War One and a scientific conference, a blend of image and historic document giving a full account of this period,” Kumbaro said.

It is not by accident that Albania’s elites in ‘30ies was educated in the university of Vienna, Graz or Salzburg. These cities are bound up with the biography of Albanian personalities such as: Eqerem Çabej, Aleks Buda, Skënder Luarasi, or Lasgush Poradeci. All these meeting points are further historic proof of how friendship is not predetermined by fate, by geographical position, like a neighbor you share same history, instead it is a friendship of choice with whom you share aspirations and goals.

Kumbaro went on saying that we have chosen culture as our linking bridge from the time when Aleksander Moisiu graced the stage of Vienna to date with Eno Peçi or Shkëlzen Doli performing on stage.

Minister Kumbaro thanked the Austrian embassy in Tirana for their dedication and efforts put on the calendar of activities in Albania as well as the Austrian govt. support for the calendar of activities in Austria.

The Austrian ambassador Johan Satler said: The higher we set sights, the better things will go for us, this is the motto that applies to this activity honoring the relations between the two countries.
”This conference serves to look back on the special relation between our two countries but also to highlight the close relation between our two countries with Albania regarding Austria as a staunch ally,” he said.

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