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EJ in the field

Albania: Conflict over the Hoxha memorial

A pyramid in the middle of the Albanian capital of Tirana stands in memory of the former dictator, Enver Hoxha. Now the government is preparing to tear it down.

Around 6000 Albanians, including those once imprisoned by Hoxha, are petitioning against the memorial’s destruction. They argue that demolishing the monument is akin to an attempt to erase the memory of Hoxha's reign of terror. Hoxha has gone down in history as one of the most obstinate and hard-line leaders of the Communist bloc. In addition to brutally oppressing the citizens of Albania, he broke with both China and the Soviet Union. By the time of his death in 1985, Albania was completely isolated from the rest of the world – but that didn’t deter his supporters from building a giant monument in his honor.

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