Photographer's Note

This is from the centre of Tirana, capital of Albania. The marble pillars in the foreground are part of the façade of the Palace of Culture, a "gift" from the Soviet union in the early 1960's, finished after Albania had already broken with the "revisionist" leaders in Moscow and instead allied itself with China.
In the background you can see a glimpse of some of the government buildings that were a "gift" from fascist Italy in the 1930's.
Between two pillars is the statue of Skanderbeg (Gjergj Kastrioti), an Albanian who fought the Turks in the 15th century. He was the national hero before, during and after communist rule. Now his statue stands alone in the giant Skanderbeg Square, where the statue of communist dictator Enver Hoxha was pulled down in 1991. Further down the street the statues of Lenin and Stalin were pulled down a year earlier.
Tiny Albania has always struggled for its independence but has usually been dependent on some big power for its protection. In a workshop you can see its tribute to its present protector, although not a statue this time.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12416 W: 572 N: 23839] (101988)
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