The Heritage First Aid-HEFA project was launched on 20 June at the National Historical Museum of Tirana, Albania. This Museum is affiliated with the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Albania and exhibits artworks from prehistoric to more recent times. All the existing materials are preserved in exhibition spaces or in the museum’s store. The findings have survived the events occurred between 1992 and 1999, but since the 1990s, they have not undergone significant conservation.
The Albanian territory is endowed with archaeological riches, a result of numerous explorations starting from the second world war. There are over 120,000 artifacts in Tirana, Durres, Apollonia and Korca, many of which require care and restoration in order to be exposed and made accessible to the public.
The main goal of the project is to provide the National Archaeological Museum of Albania with the cognitive instruments to increase its financial autonomy and preserve its artworks. It also aims at training the human resources and at the subsequent development of an adequate laboratory infrastructure for the Institute of Archeology. The project is led by Saciarkeo, a private company specialised in the restoration of all types of archaeological findings that will also allow Albanian institutions to benefit from the know-how of the Italian University of Urbino (School of Conservation and Restoration) one of the best-known centres of excellence in the restoration sector at European and international level.
Thanks to the proficiency, the Museum personnel will achieve, several findings could be restored and exhibited, the touristic offer could be better managed, and visitors’ flow will most probably increase. The outcome will be the creation of a virtuous cycle, where parts of the funds earned through tourism will be used for the restoration and management of the museum and the sustainability of the museum will thus be achieved. Therefore, tourism and conservation will support each other.
This project is co-financed by the CEI Know-how Exchange Programme (KEP) through the CEI Fund at the EBRD, sponsored by Italy.