Inauguration of Via Egnatia, rehabilitated through EU assistance, of €0.5 million, to preserve cultural heritage (16/11/2012)

Tirana, 16 November 2012

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT

The European Union, dedicated on preserving and promoting cultural heritage, supported the rehabilitation of Via Egnatia inside of Elbasan castle, with €0.5 million. The rehabilitated road, inaugurated today, is part of a larger assistance of the EU of €9 million, which includes similar works in Himara, Kruja, Tirana, Shkodra, Berat and Korca.

The EU-funded rehabilitation of Via Egnatia, adds value to this quarter, which is now expected to attract more tourists, encourage the development of local businesses and consequently establish a better use of resources.

During the inauguration ceremony, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi pointed to the need and the real possibility to reconcile Albania’s economic development with preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.  Ambassador Sequi went on to emphasize that the rehabilitation of historical sites should be approached through a socio-economic perspective in urban and in rural areas, saying that “making these sites better known and more accessible invites people to gather, and that in turn invites businesses to prosper. Cultural heritage is an integral part of European values and respect for heritage”, he added “is vital for developing Albania's European identity”.

Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of sites of historical and cultural importance, the EU will continue to support the rehabilitation of infrastructure of such sites, by also revitalising the area around the Basilica in Elbasan, which will be completed by the end of February 2013. Overall the EU assistance to Elbasan, amounts to more than €5 million.

For further information, please contact:
Artes Butka
Press & Information Officer
Tel: + 355 4 2228 320, + 355 42 228 479
Fax: + 355 4 230 752
E-mail: artes.butka@eeas.europa.eu
Delegation's website: www.delalb.ec.europa.eu