The Transformation of the National History Museum in AlbaniaRecommendations and Proposed Next Steps by the Advisory Board
Table of ContentsBackground Information............................................................................................................................7 Establishment of International Scientific Advisory Board (AB) for NHM..............................8 Documentation and Reporting.....................................................................................................10Recommendations of the Advisory Board............................................................................................12 List of recommendations................................................................................................................12 Further discussion on the refurbishment of the entrance hall.................................................15 Further discussion on collections management........................................................................15 Refurbishment of exhibition.........................................................................................................16 Restructuring management and enhancing the capacities of human resources...................18 Starting a communication and fund-raising plan......................................................................21 Development of NHM policies.....................................................................................................22Annex: Approved minutes and recommendations of the Advisory Board meetings....................23 Minutes of the 1st Advisory Board session, 03 July 2009...........................................................24 Summary note by the chair of the first meeting of the Advisory Board, 03 July 2009.........33 Minutes of the 2nd Advisory Board session, 07-08 September 2009........................................36 Conclusions and Recommendations of the 2nd session of the Advisory Board, 07-08 September 2009.....................................................................................................................43 Minutes of the 3rd Advisory Board session, 24-25 November 2009.........................................45 Ad-hoc Conclusions and Recommendations based on the Asbestos and Seismic/Structural assessments, February 2010..........................................................................................................53
Back ground Inform ation 7 Background InformationA lbania has been described as the last secret of Europe. Almost unknown internationally, its richand diverse cultural heritage is undervalued within The Joint Programme “Culture and Heritage for Social and Economic Development” (CHSED) was primarily designed to achieve outcomes derived from thethe country, much of it having been suppressed or national priorities of Albania that are consistent withneglected during the long years of isolation. Today’s the Millennium Development Goals and the One UNreality is very different: two current, and three potential, programme, approved by the Albanian GovernmentUNESCO World Heritage Sites are complemented in October 2007. Sectoral priorities for culture andby extremely valuable intangible cultural heritage, culture-related issues in Albania focus predominantlywhich testify to the meeting of different peoples and on rehabilitating cultural monuments, with acivilizations, and a history of harmonious coexistence secondary priority for leveraging Albania’s culture asover nearly three millennia. a tourist attraction. Joint programme outcomes were designed to expand these two concerns to meet widerThis peaceful multicultural coexistence presents development objectives.Albania with a unique opportunity: to utilize its cultureas an instrument in shaping its new national identity, As the lead agency in charge of culture in Albania, theas its government, economy and people move away Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports is thefrom isolation to a greater participation on the world’s primary implementing partner for this joint programmestage. This identity is central to social and economic of activities between UNDP and UNESCO. Otherrenewal and growth, both at home and abroad. As the national government bodies, such as the Primeimage of Albania returns to a more stable and positive Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,one, Albania’s diverse heritage can be exploited for the Ministry of Education, the Institute of Culturalnot just social and economic development, but for Monuments and the National Tourism Organization,human development as well. However, fundamental are involved as implementing partners. Other actors,changes still need to occur at all levels of government such as civil society organizations, universities,and society for Albania’s new national identity to municipalities and the private sector, also contributebe recognized as interrelated with culture. Most towards the achievement of these joint programmeimportantly, there is a lack of awareness of how culture outcomes.can be used as a tool for sustainable development,and conversely, how such development can be used The Joint Programme was built upon five achievableas a catalyst for culture. results, and based on national, sub-national and sectoral priorities for culture and development: Achieve a transparent and accountable government, developing and implementing effective national policies 1. on culture and cultural-related issues Create an enabling environment to ensure people’s access to cultural heritage and participation in cultural 2. heritage decision-making at the local, regional and national levels Increase capacities to manage, preserve and present cultural heritage and cultural industries in an efficient, 3. transparent, accountable and equitable manner Assure an increased role of cultural heritage in social and economic opportunities and in engaging community 4. participation in regional and local development strategies Promote an increased awareness of Albania’s cultural heritage internationally as a means to promote cultural 5. understanding and religious tolerance
8The flagship activity for the CHSED Joint Programme the support of an international museum expert, whowill be the transformation of the National History would provide documentation and elaborate reportsMuseum in Tirana into a modern cultural institution. on the major issues surrounding the NHM to furtherOne key activity to this is to: the discussions and decisions of the Advisory Board. The Joint Programme Management Team has also“Establish a management and governance structure contributed its support to these vital processes. Thisfor a “world-class” National History Museum” (Activity final report, prepared by the museum expert, will2.1.1). summarize and elaborate on the major findings and recommendations of the Advisory Board, for use asIn order to accelerate progress on these two activities, a final decision-making tool by the Government ofthe Joint Programme has established an international Albania and the UN Agencies that are substantiallyAdvisory Board to lead the visioning and planning and financially accountable for the implementation ofprocesses on the National History Museum with the activities in the CHSED Joint Programme. Establishment of International Scientific Advisory Board (AB) for NHMW ithin the framework of the UN Joint Programme „Culture and Heritage for Social and EconomicDevelopment“, implemented by UNESCO and UNDP, initial period of 18 months starting from the date of its first meeting (03 July 2009). The rights and responsibilities of any other bodies or commissionsunder the authority of UNESCO, an International duly established under Albanian Law have remainedScientific Advisory Board of the National History unaffected.Museum of Tirana (NHM) was established for anThe tasks of the Scientific Advisory Board are: To develop a new concept for the National History Museum of Tirana, taking into consideration the wider 1. system of museums in Tirana and Albania; 2. To propose a comprehensive system of governance, management and financing for the NHM; 3. To propose a detailed room plan for the museum building, atrium and immediate vicinity; 4. To propose changes in the interior architecture and design of the NHM; To propose acquisitions of equipment to be made for conservation, presentation, management, safety and 5. security of the objects and exhibitions of the NHM; 6. To propose facilities, services, programmes , equipment and technology for visitor services in the NHM; To make any other recommendations or to provide advice related to the long-term development of the 7. NHM.The Advisory Board, while acting independently, National Commission for Museums. In its capacity,has completed its tasks in consultation with the the Advisory Board shall:Scientific Council of the NHM and the Albanian • Set up a time and work plan for the completion of its tasks • Define the criteria for any designs to be conducted • Approve the specifications with a view to calling for tenders • May be requested to take part in the evaluation of the submitted proposals and offers • Assist with the monitoring of the works • Approve of the works completed under its mandate.
Back ground Inform ation 9The Board is composed of 7 members serving in The term of office of the members is eighteen months,their personal capacity, five of them international and subject to extension or renewal. The membersexperts and two of them Albanian experts, one ex of the Board are chosen for their competence inofficio representative of UNESCO Office in Venice, the fields of museology, museum management,and one ex officio representative of the Ministry of history, archaeology, ethnography, museumTourism, Culture, Youth and Sports. The members of architecture, engineering, museum didactics orthe Board are appointed jointly by the United Nations heritage conservation management. The ChairmanResident Coordinator in Albania and the Director of of the Board, or a majority of its members, may inviteUNESCO Office in Venice, after consultation with the observers to attend a session of the Board, whenevernational authorities. he/they deem necessary.The members of the Advisory Board are: • Mr. Julien Anfruns, Director – General of ICOM, Paris, France • Mr. Fiorenzo Galli, Director – General, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Technologia, Milano, Italy • Mr. Ulrike Kretzschmar, Director of Exhibition Department, German Historical Museum (GHM), Berlin • Mr. Ilber Ortayli, President of the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey • Mr. Josef Ramoneda, Director of the Centre of Contemporary Culture, Barcelona, Spain • Mr. Luan Malltezi, Historian at the Centre of Albanology Studies, Tirana, Albania1 • Mr. Ilirian Gjipali, Head of ICOM, Tirana, Albania • Mr. Engelbert Ruoss, UNESCO representative (Ex officio) • Mr.Ols Lafe, MCTYS representative (Ex officio)Suggestions and recommendations of the Board on The Board adopts its Rules of Procedure by a majoritythe preparation of activities require a majority vote vote of at least five members, and any amendment orof present members. Decision and final approval will modification to these rules must be adopted under therequire the majority vote of all members of the Board. same conditions. The working language of the Advi-The required quorum for the holding of a session is 4 sory Board is English.voting members. Upon taking up their duties and for the duration of theirThe Board will convene in ordinary session every four term of office, the members of the Advisory Boardmonths. Extraordinary sessions will be organized if may not be personally involved in expert evaluationsrequired by the chairman or a majority of the members or the submission of tenders and applications relatedof the Board. The request for an extraordinary session to the projects for the reconfiguration of the Nationalhas to be made to the Secretariat, which has to History Museum. They may not issue any statementfollow the request. The Secretariat shall set dates of or press release without the prior authorization of thethe session in consultation with the members of the Chairman of the Board and shall be subject to theboard. Invitations to the sessions must be sent by the obligations of reserve incumbent on them by reasonSecretariat in writing (e-mail or regular mail) no less of their functions.than six weeks before the first day of the session.The Advisory Board may also convene and take Between sessions of the Advisory Board, ad-hocdecisions through telephone or video conferences. groups and individual missions of the Members ofRegulations concerning the dates and invitations are the Advisory Board can be established at the requestthe same as for physical meetings. The Secretariat of of the Chairman in order to respond to emergencythe Board is ensured by the UNESCO Office in Venice or specific needs of the project. These groups andin cooperation with the Coordinator of the UN Joint members on mission must submit written reports toProgramme. UNESCO, with a copy to the Chairman of the Board no later than two weeks before the regular sessions.1 As Mr. Luan Malltezi was appointed to be the new Director of the NHM in November 2009, Mrs. Valentina Duka, Historian,has replaced him in his capacities on the Advisory Board.
10During their terms of office, the members of the those coming outside of Tirana, UNESCO will coverAdvisory Board will not receive any fees or other the cost of DSA (Daily Subsistence Allowance) andfinancial benefit from the Programme. During pre-paid round plane tickets according to UNESCOordinary and extraordinary sessions of the board, rules and regulations for official travels on mission.or ad hoc missions of individual members, only for Documentation and Reporting rom June to December 2009, several reportsF on the reorganization of the National HistoryMuseum in Tirana, Albania were commissioned by The work undertaken so far for achieving the above- mentioned goal was related to acquiring a full picture of the existing situation, identifying the most importantUNESCO Venice Office in the context of the MDG-F needs and gaps, and providing concrete suggestionsUN Joint Programme “Culture and Heritage for Social for improvement. All of this information was thenand Economic Development”. These reports address presented to the Advisory Board for this activity, tothe Joint Programme’s flagship activity in Albania to further their discussions and recommendations totransform the National History Museum in Tirana into the Government of Albania.a modern cultural institution.Five reports have resulted from this endeavor: 1. Background Study on the National History Museum in Tirana, Albania 2. Needs Assessment on the National History Musem in Tirana, Albania 3. Suggestion on a New Governance and Management Structure for the National History Museum of Albania 4. Concept framework suggestion for the reorganization of the NHM The Transformation of the National History Museum: Recommendations and Proposed Next Steps of the 5. Advisory Board (this report)The Background Study was prepared by a locally- mid- and long-term goals, taking into considerationbased UNESCO Consultant, which presented the not only urgency, but also feasibility.legal and operational status of the museum, andenabled the identification and assessment of needs In relation to the lack of visitors surveys identifiedfor improvement. in the Needs Assessment, a questionnaire was prepared by UNESCO staff and was distributedThe Needs Assessment aimed in identifying the to NHM visitors. The aim of the survey was toparticular areas in which the activity of NHM should contribute to the identification of target groups amongbe redefined or expanded, according to international visitors, and opinion-polling for the NHM permanentmuseum standards and best practices. It was assessed exhibition, institutional image and activities. The datathat such areas of activity were museum management has not been statistically elaborated and interpreted(financial and human resources management, to date, but it is estimated that this will be a valuableincluding a redefinition of the museum’s mission), tool for audience development and for restructuringcollection management in a wide sense of the term the museum’s overall concept.(including security, conservation, documentation),the museum’s public-oriented activities (exhibitions, A prioritization of areas of action derived from theeducation, events), visitor services (café, shop). Needs Assessment, namely conservation, securitySome priorities were set for restructuring, as short-, and exhibition, and the outlines of three respective operational plans were submitted for future reference,
Back ground Inform ation 11in the development of full operational plans. materials must be avoided.The report on Governance and Management focused With regards to the seismic and structuralon suggestions for alteration of the Statutes of the investigations, the Contractor hired by UNDP hasNational History Museum, which would enable the preliminarily determined that it appears no evaluationmuseum to expand its vision, engage the public further of seismic forces was undertaken in the original designin its activities, enhance its public accountability of the building. It was discovered that the Museum wasand find a more functional and effective method actually built structurally as four separate blocks, andof managing its existing and potential human and that the existing space between blocks is insufficientfinancial resources. to compensate for seismic effects (it should be ≈ 40cm, not 5cm as built). The Contractor concludedIn addition to its recommendations on NHM that the existing structural system of the Museum isGovernance and Management, the Advisory very weak in both orthogonal directions and doesn’tBoard of the National History Museum submitted have the capacity to control the expected earthquakerecommendations to MoTCYS for adjusting the forces; the structural system is very vulnerablelegal provisions in ways which would enable the and, in case of a moderate earthquake, significantsuggestions on governance and management to be damage to all non-structural elements, facades andimplemented. some structural elements is expected. For a strong or expected design earthquake with a magnitudeSuggestions were also submitted as regards the greater than 5.5, partial or complete collapse of themuseum’s overall concept. The reorganization of structural elements, fragments or entire structural unitthe NHM institutional concept covers many functions may occur. It was therefore strongly recommendedand areas of activity which relate to the redefined that structural upgrades applying to Eurocode 8NHM mission statement: networking, categorization will lead to a safer building seismically in its futureof collections, education, entertainment, visitor serviceability.experience, communication, refurbishment of thepermanent exhibition, and fund-raising. Further, from the desktop exercise and the visual inspections it is clearly evident that a number ofIn parallel to re-conceptualizing the museum, minor damages exist in the building; however, thesespecialized companies were commissioned to are considered to be non-structural in nature and canexamine the adequacy of the NHM’s structure be repaired through relatively minor maintenanceand infrastructure, as regards the assessment interventions. The assessment also revealed thatand management of asbestos findings, and the the main building structure itself appears to be inassessment of the building’s statics and anti-seismic a sound condition and does not foresee any majorpotential. Representatives of the Company contracted interventions, other than those strengtheningby UNDP on the asbestos situation have confirmed measures required for compliance with Eurocodethe presence of asbestos in the NHM building, as in 8. However, some of the structural elements for themost of the buildings in the world. One of the most basic services of the building were not functioningimportant findings is that there is no asbestos in the (e.g. no fire alarm or fire-fighting system), whilstprimary structure of the building, but rather in its others were functional to a varying degree, butsecondary structures. This includes but is not limited considered as being not fit for purpose.to a storeroom, various parts of display cases, pipingin the basement, and sealant on boiler plates and lab The findings of these two sets of studies allow us toequipment. It is recommended by the Company that assume that the building’s condition may not severelythe material should either be removed professionally, delay or impede the implementation of the museum’sor closed off so as to remain undisturbed and re-conceptualization and refurbishment, if it is doneinaccessible. There was confirmed to be no asbestos in phases and with proper long-term planning. Soundpresence in either the entrance hall or the auditorium project planning for the Museum is particularlyof the Museum. Asbestos management should be important to ensure that duplication of effort andstructured in a phased approach and planned to go wastage of resources does not occur. It must alsoas far as reasonably practicable. Refurbishments to be considered that if works are to be implemented inthe building can progress as required but reference phases, that the first phase for each building serviceshould be made to the report as necessary. Any will necessarily have to include the central plantdisturbance of the identified asbestos containing
12and equipment necessary even if the service ducts, was strongly recommended that priority be given topipelines etc, are renovated to match the programme essential safety measures related to the provision ofof structural improvement works. But irrespective fire detection, escape and protection facilities, whichof any phased programme of implementation, it are currently not in place at the museum. Recommendations of the Advisory BoardB ased upon the results of the above studies, the information contained within the four reports of the consultants, and their own observations during the meetings, the Advisory Board has recommendeda series of future steps of action for the National History Museum in order to transform it into a moderncultural institution operating at international museum standards. The following list of recommendations of theAdvisory Board is a summarized version of all recommendations from the meetings and can be found in theiroriginal format in the annex to this report. Some of the most important recommendations are then discussedin greater detail in the sections following this list.1. A new, long-term framework, strategy and vision for the Museum should be elaborated. This strategy should include a multi-year action plan for the transformation of the Museum that includes both the “hard” and “soft” actions to be undertaken. The focus of the reconceptualization of the Museum should be on visitors, rather than scientists, and a new flexible and modern museum building concept needs to be elaborated by architects taking into account the visitors flow. The results of the emergency investigations (asbestos, seismic, structural) need to be taken into account in this strategy and action plan. The planning of management and governance as well as infrastructural measures will have to run in parallel due to their interdependence on one another.2. A mission statement for the Museum should be formally elaborated and included in the long-term strategy that focuses on a broad understanding of history, an emphasis on the entertainment, educative and communicative roles of the museum, expresses itself in first-person “we”, and reflects the relationship of the NHM with other museums and archaeological parks in Albania. Adopt a new mission statement such as below will reduce the political and personal influences on the Museum. The endorsed suggestion by the Advisory Board for this mission statement is: “In the National History Museum, we aim to foster understanding and appreciation of the history of Albania diachronically, and of the role of Albania in world history, to local, national and international audiences. We encourage dialogue with and among all Albanian citizens on the past, present and future of the country. To this purpose, we acquire, conserve and research tangible and intangible evidence of the historical and cultural heritage of Albania, which we communicate and exhibit by stimulating education and entertainment. We take active part in national and international cultural networks and we organize activities which promote our vision and mission”.3. The roles and responsibilities of governance bodies need to be redefined. The governing bodies should assume more active and regular role in guiding, supervising and promoting the Museum, and their membership should be comprised of individuals with management expertise and international experience. The Scientific Advisory Board should be charged only with policy-related and strategic planning tasks, and the Executive Board with supporting the implementation of the Strategy through work plans. International members should be invited to join their meetings as external members and provide their international expertise and support to NHM; this is a crucial factor. The Ministry may also consider combining the two bodies into one.4. A new organizational chart should be elaborated for the Museum that is target-oriented and describes key staff competences (such as museologist, scientific coordinator, Deputy Director, IT, museums pedagogic,
Recom m en dat ion s of th e A d v is ory Bo ard 13 etc.). A human resources strategy should be then elaborated that is coherent with the mandate and goals/objectives of the Museum, is complete with staff planning and job descriptions, and corresponds to that of a modern museum, without being restricted to present legal or financial situations. More evidence should be given the new organizational chart to education, entertainment and international cooperation by adding supplemental competences. It is also advised to outsource activities which are not strategic and to merge safety and maintenance of premises into one position. The final proposal of the new management structure can be found in the document, “Suggestion on a New Governance and Management Structure for the National History Museum of Albania”.5. Establish a roadmap for the transformation of the existing organizational chart into the new chart. Efforts should be undertaken to help improve the capacity of staff to better fit to the suggested new NHM organizational structure. Needs mentioned in that context were English language abilities, fundraising and project proposal design/writing. Such activities could be supported under the communication plan and capacity building. Museum staff could be taken on field visits to see examples of best practice.6. A public relations process by the management and staff of the Museum should be pursued in order to build up a joint and coherent image for the Museum. Incentives should be made available to enhance the number and quality of initiatives taken by the Museum (e.g. funding mechanisms). To this same end partnerships should be established or improved on national and international levels.7. Relevant laws and regulations should be revised according to the new strategy approved for the Museum. This includes adjusting the legal framework to international conventions and new laws adopted by Albania (Chapter I-IV), increasing the flexibility of financing of Public Museums (Art. 19), and delegating the authority of reusing the revenues of the Museums (Art.20) for the latter to create incentives/means to enter into co-funding activities for public museums. Adjust the decision No. 775 to the new philosophy of museums and include experts in the field of museology to sit in the Scientific Committee of Museums.8. The museum staff should be permanently involved into all NHM activities implemented by the MDG-F project and be enabled and encouraged to contribute to the development of concepts and their subsequent implementation.9. Recommends that the concept framework should be established before deciding any measures and based on the information contained within the four reports produced by the UNESCO consultants and the two studies commissioned by UNDP. Priority could also be given to the courtyard with conceptualization of the restaurant and shop. Original architects and technicians of the Museum should be invited if possible to discussions on room allocation. Work plans related to the main fields identified in the concept framework should be elaborated. The following issues are to be included into the concept for the NHM: • National museum framework / network • Education of museums in Albania • Entertainment • Categorization of the collections • Communication • Exhibit topics to be presented • International cooperation with public • Research into history, ethnography, relations and institutional cooperation socio-economic development of Albania • Visitor experience • Financial and fund-raising concepts10. The collections that are currently located in the basement should be moved to the upper floors and objects should be cleaned and made ready for presentation. The NHM should also translate the list of collections and objects by category so that steps can be taken to assist in the proper inventorying and digitalization of the collection. A collections concept should be defined based on historic periods and material separated by categories: Prehistory, Middle-age, Ethnography and Modern.
1411. The electricity transformer station in the building must be relocated immediately. Such a station should not be located in a publicly accessible building.12. The air conditioning system is not functioning and should be based on the new concept for the Museum. Until the location of collections, exhibitions service rooms, lab etc. is planned and approved, the system should not be installed. Furthermore, the running costs and maintenance for the system have to be organized and guaranteed before the installation.13. The elevator is not functioning and needs to be reinstalled. This should be part of the new museum concept, allowing access to handicapped persons. According to the UNRC, there could be other funds available for this purpose, e.g. from UNDP’s social inclusion programme.14. The entrance hall should be visitor friendly and attract new visitors. It should link to other parts of the Museum, such as the gift shop, a restaurant, and exhibitions. It is considered an important part of the Museum and therefore gets high priority. An improved gift shop could bring further attraction and contribute to the Museums budget. The entrance hall combines content, architecture and communication and will give a high visibility to both the Museum and the JP.15. A security system does not exist in the Museum. The presence of a high number of staff in the badly visited exhibitions is costly and inefficient. The installation of a video surveillance system will reduce the number of security staff necessary, and create opportunities to use staff to reinforce other activities. The measure has therefore a high impact on the performance of the Museum. The activity is highly dependent on the planned exhibition concept. A first step could be the installation of a surveillance system and as a second step, the showcase “highlights” alarm system. This activity should also be combined with a training of responsible staff on security procedures and standards.16. A new lighting concept needs to be elaborated in connection with the new exhibitions concept.17. An emergency plan for the building itself should be focused on prior to issues relating to collections management. This recommendation is due in part to the fact that the collection cannot be moved anywhere for safekeeping during renovation. The emergency plan also needs to take into account the emergency exits and aesthetics of building.18. Interventions relating to the asbestos, seismic and statics issues need to be planned immediately before proceeding with visible works. Based on the recommendations of the statics assessment, the heavy objects on the second floor may need to be removed. The necessary steps to remove or contain the asbestos should be elaborated, bearing in mind the limited budget of this project activity; this can be done in phases, and physical works to the building may begin in areas where the asbestos is not present or will remain undisturbed. The extensive structural strengthening measures that are required to ensure the capacity of the building to withstand the effects of seismic action, and also to meet international norms and standards can be worked into a phased programme to offset the investment costs over a period of time. Final versions of the reports by the two companies should be translated into Albanian.19. The priority needs are to renovate the Museum entrance hall as well as other urgent measures, such as water supply, security and fire emergency systems. This will improve the visitor experience as well as enable the creation of new opportunities for revenue generation, allow for a flexible and dynamic use of the space during reconstruction efforts, and engage the general public more effectively than work in other areas of the museum. Work in the entrance hall could start immediately, as it is not directly affected by the necessary asbestos, seismic and statics interventions (which are very costly and need further fund-raising). Priority should also be given to essential safety measures related to the provision of fire detection and escape and protection facilities, which are currently not in place at the museum. The priorities on safety should be a cost-sharing activity with the Government of Albania.
Recom m en dat ion s of th e A d v is ory Bo ard 1520. An internal communication plan for staff training and capacity building for the work of the AB to be communicated to the public, Government, media, etc, should be developed.21. The question whether the NHM should remain a Historical Museum or change into a National Museum (including aspects like ethnography) requires a strategic decision by the government.22. At the start of 2010, a series of symposia on Albanian history should be organized with the participation of the well-known Albanian and international historians.23. As the final decision on how to proceed remains with the Government of Albania, it is recommended to move the decision processes forward quickly so as not to lose any funding currently available under the MDG-F Joint Programme. A clear commitment from the Government is needed for change to occur. Further discussion on the refurbishment of the entrance hallT he refurbishment of the entrance hall has been recommended by the Advisory Board as a short-term priority as it is a visible activity that would needed, and develop the content of the audio guide at a later stage.quickly have a clear impact on the overall image and When the refurbishment of the space is implemented,functionality of the museum. It has been assessed as the management of the café and shop could bean essential first step for improving the institutional externalized. It would be strongly recommended toimage of the museum in relation to its redefined, more avoid managing these two visitor services on ownpublic-oriented mission. Visitor services provided in staff resources at first and externalizing them at a laterthis space will be a café and shop, as well as the stage, in order to prevent confusion in the museum’sticket-issuing, audio guide and guard robe services. management structure at a time of overall restructuringAlthough the need for audio guides is rather long and re-conceptualization. As for the staff engaged interm, in relation to a future refurbished permanent visitor services directly managed by the museum,exhibition, it would be preferable to include this namely ticket-issuing, cloakroom and, eventually,service already in the design of the hall. In fact, it the rental of audio guides, some training should takewould be feasible to acquire the relevant necessary place as a final stage of this work package, in order toequipment at the same time with the other equipment enhance their ability of welcoming and serving visitors. Further discussion on collections managementC ollections management includes the re- arrangement of the categorization of NHMcollections, their full inventorying (including numbering report, and relevant recommendations of the Adviso- ry Board have been submitted. Moreover, outlines of operational plans on conservation and security for theon the items), documentation, storage, conservation NHM have provided concrete suggestions regarding(preventive and, when necessary, corrective), and the actions and equipment that would be necessarysecurity. for the conservation and security of the museum’s artifacts. The document on NHM governance andThe need for restructuring collections management management additionally includes suggestions onin the NHM has been identified in the needs assess- the staff necessary for collections management andment. Suggestions regarding the categorization of their respective responsibilities.collections have been provided in the NHM concept
16A study on the overall reallocation of space in the be included in the operational plan for conservationmuseum could be seen as part of this work package. (the respective outline includes mentions to theAccording to this study, suggestions would be provided equipment required for the preventive conservationon allocating space required for new functions of the of objects on storage). In parallel, adequate areasmuseum: a security cabin, a storage area, a room should be allocated for storage and security purposesfor educational programmes, a room for temporary in the building (storage rooms, security cabin), takingexhibitions, and space for events on rent. Obviously, into consideration some restrictions to which mentionreallocation of space is not only connected with the has already been made (adequacy of environmentalmanagement of the collections, but with most of the and security conditions of storage areas, location ofareas of activity of the museum. However, this study security cabin in proximity to the exhibition).could be done early enough in the year, as part ofthe work undertaken for refurbishing collections When the Advisory Board has submitted its relevantmanagement, provided that there is a general recommendations to the Ministry, and providedagreement on not allocating additional space to the that the Ministry has taken the relevant decisionspermanent exhibition (according to what has been and administrative actions for accepting thementioned in the Needs Assessment and suggested recommendations, the acquisition of the necessaryin the Concept report). If, on the contrary, it is equipment for security, preventive conservation andconsidered as preferable to expand the area covered storage can be tendered.by the permanent exhibition, the study on reallocationof space should be done at a later stage, in relation On the acquisition of the relevant equipment, someto the development of the refurbished permanent work should be required for refurbishing the spacesexhibition, with all delays that this postponement designated for security and storage purposes.may introduce to the refurbishment of collectionsmanagement. Last and not least, the staff engaged in security and preventive conservation should be trained on howIn order to proceed to the implementation of activities to use the new equipment. Further training relatedrelated to collection management, the operational to integrated security and conservation plans isplans on security and conservation should be mentioned in the chapter on the staff training anddeveloped, including the Terms of Reference for capacity-building. Additionally, staff engaged in thethe refurbishing work which will be required and the inventorying and documentation of the collectionsrelevant equipment that should be purchased. In should also be trained – again, the subject is moreparticular, the Terms of Reference on storage could thoroughly dealt with in the chapter on staff training. Further discussion on the organization of the permanent exhibitionT he report on the Concept framework suggestion for the reorganization of the National HistoricMuseum included suggestions on a new thematic of the exhibition in the NHM Overall Concept report. The focus of the NHM should be on history.concept for the permanent exhibition, with enhanced This idea was discussed further during the meetingcommunicative potential, and on a general framework of 9/ 12/ 2009 with the Director of NHM. It has beenfor topics to be exhibited. argued that historical exhibitions do not need to be object-oriented, and instead artifacts displayed couldA working group on issues relating to the NHM was highlight their historical context, with a selectiveconvened in late October 2009 by the Ministry of approach taken regarding artifacts to be included onCulture, Tourism, Youth and Sports with a group of display and the ones to remain on storage. It hasAlbanian historians. As shared by the NHM Director also suggested that exposure of stakeholderswith the AB, all of the historians/researchers present at to examples of other such exhibitions would bethis meeting seemed to be in agreement with the coreidea of the suggestions provided on the refurbishment helpful.
Recom m en dat ion s of th e A d v is ory Bo ard 17In accordance with the conclusions of the meeting of ideally, this operational plan should be developed atthe Albanian historians and the recommendations of a stage when the development work and researchthe Advisory Board, an international debate is being of the interdisciplinary team has progressed enoughorganized by the Joint Programme to take place to provide adequate information and useful details,around May 2010regarding the role of the NHM and but not too far (before entering the stage of acquiringhow Albania’s history should be presented. This reproduction rights, for certain, so that time, effortshould be the first in a series of public consultations and money is not “wasted in the wrong direction”).in which Albanian history is publicly discussed anddebated, so that a consensus will eventually emerge The operational plan on the permanent exhibitionon what the official overall concept of NHM should look should be detailed enough to provide, or ideally evenlike. These debates can take place simultaneously include, the Terms of Reference for all the futureduring the implementation of physical works in non- steps regarding its implementation: therefore, it wouldexhibition areas, such as the entrance hall and the be feasible to directly enter, upon its endorsementcourtyard. by the AB and approval by the MoTCYS, into public procurement procedures (eg architecturalIn parallel, an interdisciplinary team should be company, acquisition of showcases, development offormed, to work on the exhibition development, audiovisuals’ software, acquisition of audiovisuals’ideally including both members of NHM staff and hardware etc). The operational plan on exhibitionsexternal experts. The Advisory Board could provide should be based on the Concept frameworkthe MoTCYS with recommendations on the key suggestion for the reorganization of the NHM. Thedisciplines that should be included in the team. operational plan would therefore create a consensusThe team should have a clear structure on who is around its main points and further detail concreteresponsible for what, facilitating the collaboration actions, timelines and costing of interventions.between different disciplines, and a team leader. It is estimated that the finalization of the NHM conceptMaking use of the practical experience in developing may take several months and the public discussionshistoric exhibitions, it is estimated that the research and consensus building might be very time consuming,on iconographic material and information to be finishing later than desired and not earlier than theincluded in the refurbished exhibition could be quite third/fourth quarters of 2010. This implies that the JPtime-consuming: in addition to the selection and CHSED could not be able to fully benefit from thepreparation of original artifacts to be included in the results of this discussion as its life span is limiteddisplay, initial stages of this preparation process to February 2011. This therefore is a risk of losinginclude research for identification of accompanying an opportunity to make use of available resources.visual and informative material (to be included in wall One possible way forward is for the MoTCYS, the JPpanels, audiovisual applications etc), selection of final and other stakeholders to set up an interdisciplinarymaterial to be included, request for reproduction rights team, institutionally tasked to take preliminary issueswhere applicable and digitization – not to mention the forward and work on NHM aspects delinked from thesteps for exhibition development which follow this ongoing discussions on the content of the exhibition.initial stage. Therefore, even if the discussion and This would ensure an optimal use of time and buildpublic debate on the exhibition’s content could be on- momentum for further activities in the NHM.going, the interdisciplinary team could start workingon these initial stages, perhaps on core subjects for Implementation of exhibition development couldwhich it is decided to include. then start in late 2010, and the new exhibition couldWhen the feedback is adequate and the reflection only be ready for inauguration in 2011. However, thestage more mature, an operational plan for the suggested plan for this work package includes all theexhibition should be developed, including a fully crucial decisions (including procurement procedures)detailed concept and the architectural design of in 2010.the envisaged exhibition. It should be noted that,
18 Further discussion on restructuring management and enhancing the capacities of human resourcesI n the light of the conclusions of the meeting of December 9, 2009 between the Director of NHMand UNESCO staff and consultants, future steps The implementation of the transitional chart could follow, according to which posts and roles would be attributed to existing and new staff members.on restructuring the management of the museumshould involve a gradual implementation of the Training of NHM staff has been identified in reportssuggested organization chart, to the extent that and recognized by the Advisory Board as an internalthis is administratively possible at the moment. part of the on-going efforts of the CHSED ProgrammeA transitional phase would preferably include a for capacity-building of the institution.“transitional” organization chart, in which no services It is not clear yet how many and which member of thewould be externalized, the attribution of posts to existing staff will form part of the envisaged improvedexisting staff, according to their qualifications, and management structure of the museum; it is not clearthe engagement of additional staff in specializations either how and when changes in personnel will occur,missing (such as museum education). according to the suggestions made, or which of thoseAdministrative obstacles implicating the implementa- suggestions could realistically be adopted in the shorttion of the suggestions provided on management in- term. A first step could be to train the existing staff,clude the fact that some of the functions suggested in and engage staff in some new functions, and at athe chart (such as education officers) do not exist in later stage the chart could be fully implemented.the provisions for specializations in the Albanian civil The “team” selected by the Director amongservice. Considerations have also been discussed existing staff, to work more closely regarding theabout how this chart could affect the management implementation of a new overall concept for thestructures of the other public museums in Albania. museum, could follow him in opportunities arisingAlthough the restructuring of NHM management to visit other museums in Europe, so that they getcould be an excellent opportunity for updating and acquainted with different museum management“modernizing” the relevant legal provisions for all practices, and updated on best practices and relevantmuseums, alternative ways can be explored in international standards.order to overcome administrative obstacles for It should also be mentioned that the conclusionsthe implementation of the chart individually for of the meeting undertaken with NHM staff indicateNHM: such alternatives could be to initially engage that they warmly welcome the opportunity to becontractual staff in the new functions for which there trained according to international standards andare no administrative provisions, or to employ them acquainted with practices applied in other museums,under a specialization already provisioned by law (eg also suggesting the idea of “museum twinning” forhired as archaeologists but working in educational coaching. They have expressed their wish to formprogrammes, hired as guards but working in visitor part of international museum networks, and theirservices). eagerness to enhance their skills and learn fromIn parallel to the identification of administrative the experience of other museums. They highlightedobstacles and, possibly, of ways to overcome on own initiative the fact that specialized additionalthem, including the creation of a transitional chart, staff may be needed, and indicated that the NHMthe meeting’s conclusions suggested for the NHM Statutes should be updated. They were indeed veryDirector to identify a team among existing staff for interested in a definition and overview of educationalcloser collaboration on the museum’s refurbishment. programmes in museums.At the same time, the Director of NHM, with the It looks like the NHM staff and Director wouldsupport of the MoTCYS and UNESCO, could identify welcome, as a start for staff training, the opportunitythe major gaps in missing specializations.
Recom m en dat ion s of th e A d v is ory Bo ard 19to attend training courses undertaken by UNESCO prioritization was made on the basis of which wouldstaff, making use of the ICOM museum training be the most urgent needs for the museum, and notmaterial. the fields where the staff would prefer to be trained on. The model is taken from an ICOM questionnaire,It has not been examined yet how the staff would from surveys conducted by UNESCO.self-prioritize their training needs. The followingThe degree of priority is specified from 1 to 12 (1 = most needed): Museology (12) Museum Management (6) Collection Management (3) Preventive Conservation (1) Education/Interpretation (5) Communication, including public relations and marketing (8) Documentation/Inventories (4) Exhibitions (7) Museum Security and Emergency Planning (2) Visitor Studies (10) Cultural Tourism (11) Fund raising (9)Additional training needs could be identified, such other skills would also be highly desirable, such asas more in-depth training on the management of the knowledge of foreign languages, and IT skills,financial and human resources, public relations and and it is not known yet which members of staff arecommunication. It should also be mentioned that, competent in these areas to some extent.according to the suggestions provided on management,Some considerations and suggestions are provided in relation to the training of staff: • It should be identified who would be trained on what: would all staff participate in all courses, or should specific groups be formed for the training on each subject? The Director, perhaps with the support of UNESCO staff and consultants, and after having checked the staff CVs, should “attribute” specializations to existing staff, identifying gaps as well (specializations totally missing). This would help to identify who would be trained on what. However, given their eagerness to be trained, and the great interest indicated on educational programmes, perhaps some or even all courses could be open to whomever staff member wants to attend, for the general information of all. • Assessment of the training needs and skills could take place before and after the training, including self-evaluation. • Following the assessment, and perhaps even in parallel to training, a “pilot” application of the new organization chart could be formulated and tried out, with any alterations that could be made to it for practical or other reasons. This could be made unofficially, before any changes to the Statutes take place. The point of the suggestion is to apply specializations and form small “groups” of existing staff according to the major functions indicated in the suggested chart, or any other chart that is decided upon. Some major gaps identified (eg on education) could perhaps be filled in, at this pilot stage, by contractual staff. • A plan should be formulated for “study trips” or even “museum coaching”, as has been suggested. It would be advisable that the museums – case studies are selected on the
20 basis of relevance of subject to the presentation of history, and/ or exhibition concepts which highlight the display of artifacts in a historical context, and/ or management methods applied which could act as an example of good practice. The potential of “museum coaching”, in particular, could be further explored in relation to available possibilities for coaching related to presentations, visits, peer education or short term internships. • Additionally, the potential could be explored for participation to other accredited museum training seminars, such as, to indicate one example which may not even be the most appropriate one, the International Baltic Museology School; this course operates under the auspices of ICOM-Europe and each year runs a week-long educational programme in English, focusing on one aspect of museum work. • Following what has been discussed in the meeting, it would be advisable to find ways in which members of staff could be encouraged to look for self-training opportunities through the internet. My own suggestion to them, to look at the ICOM, UNESCO, and museums websites for self-training, could take a more structured form - perhaps not so structured as to create “web-seminars”, but to give some more concrete directions on where to search for what, in a certain order. Of course, pre-requisites for this suggestion to materialize would be access to internet, and to read English or French. • In relation to the acquisition of equipment required for preventive conservation and security, specific training should take place, on the use of the equipment for routine and emergency procedures. • Some more specific training could perhaps help staff to reorganize the inventorying and documentation of artifacts. Following the general UNESCO training on the subject, it would perhaps make sense to focus on how inventorying and documentation could be re-organized in this specific museum.It would be preferable that all the opportunities for the training of the staff of other museums in Albania.training identified as viable to materialize should It is therefore suggested that NHM, as the head ofbe structured in a sequence that makes sense a future national museum network, could train thefor learning purposes, and not be based solely on staff of the other museums of the network, when theyopportunities which occur. This means that a certain are ready to do so, perhaps using the ICOM trainingsequence should be favored for training, perhaps material and course structure used by UNESCO incommencing with a theoretic introduction (UNESCO museum training. After all, in training museum staffcourse), then self-learning and experimentation (self- all over the world, the UNESCO Headquarters havelearning through the web), followed by more in-depth attempted to implement in the past this method oflearning (seminars on particular issues, visits to other training (the trained staff of one museum to train themuseums and museum coaching) and concluding other ones). This has not always been successful,with experimentation and practice (pilot application as the “trained museum” was sometimes reluctant toof chart in the museum). train the other ones; but in the case of NHM, there seems to be good potential for success due to theLast, it should be noted that the NHM Director and Director’s and staff’s declared eagerness to spreadstaff would wish that a training centre for museology the knowledge earned.would be established in the museum in due course, for
Recom m en dat ion s of th e A d v is ory Bo ard 21 Further discussion on how to start a communication and fund-raising planI n order to develop a plan on communication and fund-raising for 2010, it should be takeninto consideration that during that year the new by the NHM governance, could be implemented as an early step of the museum’s communication plan.“institutional image” of the museum will still be under Another early step for communication could bedevelopment: the museum would not be able to the creation of a website for the museum, in whichpromote yet a refurbished permanent exhibition and information should be provided in at least twothe accomplishment of its new mission statement languages (Albanian and English), and preferablythrough a range of public-oriented activities, but more (Italian as well, for instance). The website, in anrather the new mission statement itself and its will easy-to-navigate and visually appealing way, shouldand determination to reorganize its exhibition and all include as much information as possible on subjectsaspects of its institutional life. In other words, NHM such as the museum’s new mission statement andwould not be able to “sell” a “product” in 2010, but logo, collection highlights, procedures undertakenrather the “announcement of a forthcoming new for the exhibition’s refurbishment, a programmeproduct”. Of course, near the end of the year there of planned temporary exhibitions and events, asshould be, hopefully, some first tangible proofs of well as practical information for visitors. Visibilitythe museum’s new public-oriented mission, such of the fact that NHM is included in the activities ofas a renewed entrance hall including refurbished the CHSED Programme would be a positive factorvisitor services and, perhaps, some first educational for the museum’s institutional image at internationalprogrammes and/ or events related to audience level. The information available at the website shoulddevelopment. be regularly updated.In a symbolic declaration of its new institutional When it will have been decided which membersimage, NHM could create a new logo early in the year, of NHM staff would deal with the museum’sto accompany all communicative and fund-raising communication and fund-raising, a first importantactivities which would announce the museum’s task for these members of staff would be to createrefurbishment. a list or file of existing and potential contacts for communication and fund-raising. The list couldSome first visitor surveys have already taken place include contacts in the media, politicians, prominentin the museum, but the interpretation of the data figures of public life, companies potentially interestedin order to draw useful conclusions on audience for corporate donations or other collaboration,development and the refurbished exhibitions are experts, other museums, tour operators and more. Atexpected in early 2010. Throughout the year, the a future stage, in due course, it would be preferablesurvey could perhaps be repeated – with the same that there are two separate files for communicationquestionnaire or a different one, according to the and fund-raising (for example, contacts in the mediainitial survey’s assessment and whether the existing are purely for communication purposes, whereaspermanent exhibition is still accessible to visitors potential donors are a separate category of publicwhen the survey is repeated. relations). However, at this initial stage during which the museum only announces its new mission,Based on the feedback gathered from the initial vision and plans, the contact list could be common.visitor survey, the Advisory Board could provide Needless to say, the contact list should be updatedrecommendations related to communication and regularly, and enriched as much as possible withaudience development. It could also provide new contacts.recommendations to assist the museum’snetworking at national and international level. Such The contacts, at this initial stage, could be usedrecommendations on networking, upon acceptance as recipients of a monthly newsletter on NHM
22developments and events, inviting them to also visit of similar interests and professional capacity (e.g.the museum’s website. As the work of refurbishment separately for tour operators, media etc), when theprogresses, the contact list could also be used for entrance hall will have been refurbished and themore tangible actions. One such possibility is for the reorganization of the permanent exhibition will be inlast months of 2010 to organize “behind the scenes” the making.exclusive events for a limited number of persons Further discussion on the development of NHM policiesA s has been mentioned in the Needs Assessment and clearly suggested in the report on NHMGovernance and Management, it would be useful for Certainly, it would be most welcome if the legal framework, in which the museum operates, was amended in ways in which such policies would bethe museum to develop some institutional policies legally binding for all public museums in Albania; andon certain areas of activity. Some priority areas of it seems quite likely that the MoTCYS is willing toactivity for the development of institutional policies, develop legally-binding documents in these areas ofas defined in the aforementioned report, are the activity and more. However, it would be most helpfulacquisition and disposal of artifacts, the incoming if the NHM developed ethically-binding institutionaland outgoing short-term loans of artifacts. policies, as many museums tend to do.According to the area of museum activity they deal The Advisory Board can be consulted to providewith, some of these institutional policy documents recommendations to MoTCYS on the priority areaswould be more focused on ethical restrictions, such as of activity in which policy documents should bethe one on acquisition and disposal, and some other developed for NHM, and on their content, accordingones would be more practical, such as the one on to internationally accepted professional ethics forloans (which could include, for example, a condition museums and internationally applied professionalreport model and guidelines for the procedure practices.undertaken for incoming and outgoing loans). ConclusionI n sum, the members of the Advisory Board think that this project is an important opportunity forAlbania and the NHM to further advance the museum engaging historians and museum professionals in Albania for their contribution in such an important undertaking cannot be emphasized enough.as the chief cultural institution in the country. Theyacknowledge the hard work and dedication by all The members of the Advisory Board remainmembers of the Advisory Board, the museum, available for consultation and advice to the NHM,government bodies, CHSED Joint Programme team the Government of Albania, and to the CHSED Jointand consultants to see this project activity through Programme throughout the length of their mandate,to success. However, the importance of further currently scheduled through January 2011.
Annex: Approved minutes andrecommendations of the Advisory Board meetings 23 Annex: Approved minutes and recommendations of the Advisory Board meetings • Minutes of the 1st Advisory Board session, 03 July 2009 • Summary note by the chair of the first meeting of the Advisory Board, 03 July 2009 • Minutes of the 2nd Advisory Board session, 07-08 September 2009 • Conclusions and Recommendations of the 2nd session of the Advisory Board, 07-08 September 2009 • Minutes of the 3rd Advisory Board session, 24-25 November 2009 • Ad-hoc Conclusions and Recommendations based on the Asbestos and Seismic/Structural assessments, February 2010
24 Minutes of the 1st Advisory Board session, 03 July 2009 “CULTURE AND HERITAGE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT” NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM Advisory Board Meeting Venue: UNDP Office Street “Papa Gjon Pali” ABA Business Center, 6th Floor Tirana, on 03.07.2009Mr. Taher Ghalia Member of the executive council, ICOM Director, National Museum of Tunisia (Bardo Museum)Mr. Ilirian Gjipali Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology, Centre of Albanology, Tirana, AlbaniaMs. Ulrike Kretzschmar Director of Exhibition Department, German Historical Museum, Berlin, GermanyMr. Luan Malltezi Historian, Institute of History, Centre of Albanology, Tirana, AlbaniaMr. Ilber Ortayli President of the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (via teleconference)Ex Officio Members:1. Mr. Ols Lafe Director, Culture Heritage Department, MoTCYS, Albania2. Mr. Engelbert Ruoss Director, UNESCO Office in Venice, ItalyNHM Consultants:1. Ms. Katerina Nikolaidou NHM UNESCO International consultant2. Ms. Iris Pojani NHM UNESCO Local consultantSecretariat / CHSED Programme Implementation Unit:1. Mr. Stephan Doempke Joint Programme International Coordinator2. Ms. Zhulieta Harasani UNESCO National Professional Officer3. Ms. Dasara Dizdari UNDP Project Manager4. Ms. Valbona Kaso UNDP Project AssistantParticipants / Invitees:1. Ms. Gülden Türköz-Cosslett UN Resident Coordinator2. Mr. Ardian Turku Minister of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sports3. H. E. Manuel Montobbio Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain in Albania4. Ms. Suela Kusi CHSED Focal Point, MCTYS5. Ms. Elida Petoshati Out-going General Secretary of UNESCO National Commission, CHSED Focal Point, Ministry of Foreign Affairs6. Mr. Kasem Bicoku Director, National History Museum7. Ms. Entela Lako UNDP Cluster Program Manager
Annex: Approved minutes andrecommendations of the Advisory Board meetings 25 advisory board meetingMs. Gülden Türköz-Cosslett, UN Resident a spirit of incorporating all different voices, as theyCoordinator, welcomed the members of the Advisory come from different countries and will each bring theirBoard and expressed her pleasure of the presence own experience. The reconstruction of this museumof the Minister and the Ambassador of Spain in this is not just a question of modernization because it isvery important meeting. She recalled the general symbolic of the country, and its re-conceptualizationgoals and objectives of the CHSED Programme as is a historic opportunity to reconcile themselves withbeing unique in the world and to be appreciated as their past.such, and outlined the work to be done in the NationalHistory Museum and the special importance of the Ms. Gülden Türköz-Cosslett then asked Mr. Engelbertvision of the experts. Ruoss, Director of the UNESCO Office in Venice, Italy, to facilitate the meeting.Mr. Ardian Turku, Minister of Culture, Tourism, Youthand Sports, thanked for the invitation to the meeting Mr. Ruoss apologized for the two weeks short noticeand expressed its importance in pursuing the re- for the organization of the meeting and explained theconceptualization of the museum as the chief cultural work done so far had been to compile a statute as ainstitution in the country not only for what it represents formal but very flexible and target-oriented instrumentbut also for its great significance for the coming in order to reach tangible results.Albanian generations. The re-conceptualization Mr. Ruoss pointed out that the idea of the Programmeof this museum coincides with the goals and the was not just to re-build the museum, but also to linkobjectives of the Albanian government, a goal not it to other museums in the world, thereby also toyet achieved because of the lack of financial support the marketing of other museums. He felt that it wasand technical expertise. For this reason the Minister important to develop the NHM within the context of aappreciated the support of Spain and the UN, and regional approach, and that ICOM (the Internationalabove all he called this meeting the start of the first Council for Museums) can help to develop regionalreal work for the museum, wishing the best of luck to strategies for museums, i.e. the Mediterranean. Heeveryone and to the Advisory Board in particular. informed the participants that his office, together withH. E. Manuel Montobbio, Ambassador of the Kingdom UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, would serve as anof Spain in Albania, affirmed that the museum is the interface between the Programme, the Museum andmain component of the CHSED Programme and also ICOM in order to make their resources available.the main cultural institution of the country – a kind Each member of the advisory board gave a shortof soul of the Albanian people. Because of that, the introduction of themselves and their work, andproject should be seen as a national project which the other participants also briefly introducedalso has an effect on the image of Albania abroad. He themselves.explained shortly the situation of the museum underthe communist and democratic systems, and that is A resume was given to the other members of thegood for Albania to promote itself through culture, Advisory Board not present in this first meeting.history and this museum. Finally a moment had toarrive when a new Albanian generation could have Mr. Ilber Ortayli, Director of the Topkapi Palacean unbiased view of their past, and therefore a great Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, who spoke through achallenge is on the content of the museum. In order conference telephone connection, extended histo be legitimate in the view of Albanian public opinion, greetings and expressed his honor for being invitedthere needed to be a flexible process in which different, to serve on the Advisory Board. He emphasized themaybe complementary aspects will be heard. long common history of the Albanian and Turkish peoples, and that this project was a great opportunityThe Ambassador emphasized the advisory nature to raise history-writing to a new level between the twoof the board, encouraging the members to work in nations. Furthermore, he invited the Advisory Board to have one of its meetings in Istanbul.
26Ms. Ulrike Kretzschmar, Director of Exhibition education, visitor facilities etc. He also noted that theDepartment, German Historical Museum, Berlin, Advisory Board does not have any decision-makingGermany, said that she had started working with her functions and must be in line with UN and especiallymuseum from developing a concept for the West with UNESCO rules and regulations. While sayingGerman History Museum in 1987, had to merge this that the strategy for the museum must be developedconcept with the existing East German Historical from both the conceptual and the construction side,Museum, then take over and renovate a historical he highlighted the importance of setting prioritiesbuilding and establish its permanent exhibition there, and expressed his wish to identify by the end of theand also oversee the construction of the annex meeting some urgent and immediate interventions.building for changing exhibitions (by architect I.M.Pei). With all this experience, she felt very comfortable Ms. Gülden Türköz-Cosslett thanked the Advisorywith the work on the Advisory Board. She organizes Board members, considering them to be a great7-8 exhibitions per year. asset for our common work. Underlining the advisory nature of their work, she was convinced that theMr. Ilirian Gjipali, Archaeologist at the Institute for Board will not have any differences, and since thereArchaeology, Center for Albanology, Tirana, pointed was no legal obligation to adopt majority decisions,out that the problems around the NHM are less their recommendations should be based on dialoguepolitical than scientific. He also confirmed that the and consensus.NHM meets the preconditions to present Albaniawithin a regional context. Ms. Iris Pojani, NHM UNESCO Local Consultant, made a presentation on the history of museum andMr. Luan Malltezi, Historian at the Institute of History, its needs (see attachment).Center for Albanology, Tirana, emphasized the .importance of undertaking this initiative while the Mr. Ilber Ortayli (via teleconference) mentioned thatAlbanian society is now ready for that. He brought to museums in Turkey face the same problems and manyattention the construction of the museum of Kruja and of the museums are not functioning. For this reasonTirana in their beginnings in 1981. Unfortunately this he congratulated everyone for their work and saiddmuseum represents great problems. It had been in that he was very impressed by the presentation.line with the prevailing political line which, however,does not stand anymore. The task is not only a Mr. Kasem Bicoku, Director of the National Historypolitical (changes happened during the system) but a Museum, Tirana, expressed his conviction that thetask of the Albanian society to reconsider its history restructuring of the museum, which essentially has notwith good will. This will be an institution where the been modernized since its establishment in 1981, willAlbanian conscious will rest peacefully after it will be be a great help. Responding to questions concerningconstructed. continuing changes in the permanent exhibition, he explained that the section of communism hadMr. Malltezi expressed his gratitude that Albanian been removed after the fall of the system in 1990.specialists are members of this Advisory Board as an Since then, the museum has made some improvisedessential and important part, and they will contribute interventions, but all of them with unsatisfactorywith all their efforts to promote the Albanian culture results.and history abroad. Mr. Bicoku has been the director of the NHM for oneMr. Engelbert Ruoss then set the discussion on the year, and after a series of consultations with expertsframework of the NHM by explaining the contribution in their fields, a project for re-conceptualization ofwhich the two UN agencies, UNESCO and UNDP, will the entire museum has been adopted and approvedmake to the project, where (symbolically) UNESCO by the MTCYS. Presently the newly-establishedwill be in charge of the “software” (the concepts and ethnographic pavilion, which will take 25% of thecontents) and UNDP for the “hardware” (the physical museum space, is under final stages of constructionimprovements). First we need to hear what is needed with the funds of the Albanian government, and it isand provide assistance and advice in developing hoped that with the CHSED funds this section canshort term and long term goals as well as proposals be finished.for changes, measures for conservation, acquisition,
Annex: Approved minutes andrecommendations of the Advisory Board meetings 27One of the greatest assets of the museum is its Mr. Stephan Doempke, Joint Programme Internationalcollection of icons. The museum possesses 700 icons Coordinator, made a remark concerning the numberthat are different from the other Balkan countries of visitors of the NHM given in the presentation,because they show an impact of Italian renaissance. explaining that the biggest numbers of foreignThere are only 50 icons exhibited in the museum in visitors are ethnic Albanians from Kosova for whomthe worst possible location in the museum, when this this museum is a point of national reference and whopavilion was set up in 1999 with the imposed decision will continue to be an important group of visitors withof the Minister of Culture of that period. The storage their own expectations.room for the remaining icons is in bad condition. Theother objects not on display are in stored in the 2nd Ms. Katerina Nikolaidou, NHM UNESCO Internationalfloor in inappropriate conditions. consultant, made a presentation of her preliminary findings and recommendations (see attachment).The second goal of the museum is to acquirefunds in order to remove the electrical substation Ambassador Montobbio appreciated the workwhich is placed in the basement of the museum of consultants, seeing in the first presentation aand is considered an enormous hazard. Mr. Bicoku report on the existing situation and in the secondmentioned the lack of a laboratory for icons and presentation recommendations what to do. Thetextiles which would be very significant for the ambassador remarked that ever since his first visitmuseum. to the museum he has witnessed ongoing changes, such as the dismantling of the permanent exhibitionsAnother concern was the possibility of building a tower on the Ottoman and post-war period. However, thein the atrium of the building which will be devastating Advisory Board member should have an opportunityfor NHM, but was approved by the mayor of Tirana. to see the museum in its previous condition in orderThe director has protested against this plan with to propose appropriate changes.both the Mayor of Tirana and the Prime Minister. Heprefers to turn this yard into an attractive part of the In a more general reflection, the ambassador pointedmuseum with exposing big art works of ethnography out that the purpose of the CHSED Programme isand the construction of a bar/café for the visitors as not to supplement Albanian budgets but to contributethe all international museums have. to capacity-building. The re-conceptualization would have to include a dialogue with Albanian institutionsMr. Engelbert Ruoss wanted to discuss perceived and an exercise of free thinking. As an example,inconsistencies in the management of the museum, the ambassador noted that the present historicaland asked what the relationship was between the exhibition in the museum is all about wars, but itScientific Council for the NHM and the National was a question whether Albanians would want to beCommittee for Museums since both of them were taught only about wars, and it was up to the Advisoryheaded by the minister. Board to decide, making use of different experiences from different countries.Mr. Ols Lafe, Director, Culture Heritage Department,MoTCYS, explained the competencies and the work Mr. Kasem Bicoku thanked the ambassador for hisdone by the National Committee and the Scientific remarks, saying that they were very much in line withCouncil. The National Committee for Museums is their own thinking since they had taken out a lot ofheaded by the minister whereas the Scientific Council war-related exhibitions and replaced it with culture.for the NHM is headed by the director of the museum.While the National Committee approves strategic Mr. Engelbert Ruoss concluded that in the nextchanges upon advice from the Scientific Council, it meeting we should have a concept (first concept)never goes in details of every day and every month for the museum, so the Advisory Board should bework. In contrast, the Scientific Council works on every focused on:detail of the NHM’s issues. Concerning personnel, - Institutional issuesMr. Lafe mentioned that it would be extremely difficult - Managerial issues.to have additional personnel for the NHM approvedby the Council of Ministers, and suggested to workon the basis of the present number of 39 staff andrestructure the organigram rather than expand it.