The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, December 21, 2014


Paris-educated artist vows to redesign Albania
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama presents before parliament his cabinet's governing program on September 15, 2013. Parliament on Septrember 15 voted in Rama as Albania's new prime minister who vowed to accelerate the country's integration into the European Union and revive an ailing economy. AFP PHOTO / GENT SHKULLAKU.
TIRANA (AFP).- Albania's new Prime Minister Edi Rama, who was voted in on Sunday, is a painter-turned-politician who has vowed to transform the poorest Balkan country into a modern European state.

A former student of Beaux Arts in Paris, 49-year-old Rama has adamantly fought to build up a "European Albania" as a "modern state ruled by law" ever since he entered politics after the fall of the communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha in the late 1980s.

"Albania is our homeland and Europe is our future," he said in an interview with AFP, referring to a similar phrase about France by late French president Francois Mitterrand.

During his electoral campaign Rama pledged to improve living standards in the country where many depend heavily on financial aid sent by an estimated 1.5 million countrymen living in Western Europe and the United States.

He has also insisted on rooting out widespread corruption in Albania, which ranked 113th out of 174 countries on graft watchdog Transparency International's 2012 list.

Rivalry between Rama and his predecessor Sali Berisha dates back to his first political steps as he left a student-led democratic movement in the early 1990s over ideological disputes with the latter.

But it was not before 1998 that he joined a Socialist-led Albanian government as culture minister.

Ambitious and authoritative, Rama in 2005 took the helm of the Socialist Party, although for a long time he failed to unite all leftist forces on the Albanian political scene.

In 2009, he led his party into an almost drawn electoral battle with Berisha, but eventually lost the polls and contested the results, starting a series of anti-government protests that turned violent in January 2011, when three demonstrators were killed in clashes with police.

At the time Rama refused to yield to strong international pressure on the opposition to scale down the protests that could have brought the country to the edge of civil conflict. The dispute has significantly slowed down the country's EU integration.

Rama, the three-time mayor of Tirana from 2000 to 2011, set out to remake the impoverished capital into a lively modern city.

He has managed to improve security and bring some order to a chaotic property market in the capital which saw a post-communist population boom.

Inspired by years spent studying art in Paris, Rama took to revamping the facades of old communist-era buildings, painting them in bright colours that freshened up the city of some 900,000 inhabitants out of an entire population of 2.8 million.

In 2004 Rama was elected "Mayor of the world," at an international competition launched on the Internet by a London-based non-governmental organisation.

He has reportedly planned to take on former British prime minister Tony Blair as an advisor in case he wins the parliamentary elections. However, it is yet to be seen if Blair will eventually join his team.

The tall former basketball player, with short hair and a regular three-day beard, a fluent speaker of English, French and Italian, Rama is described by observers as an extravagant, but dynamic man and a strong personality.

Used to expressing himself through art, he often draws even during top political meetings and usually expresses his thoughts and impressions on interlocutors through colour drawings and paintings. Coloured pencils are a regular inventory on his working table.

"I would say that I am still an artist and I'm trying to use politics as an instrument for change," he once said.

Recently remarried, he has a son from a previous marriage with a famous actress.



© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

September 16, 2013

Exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin presents a dialogue with the Marx Collection

me Collectors Room Berlin offers a probing insight into the works by Thomas Schütte

Christie's New York announces Auction of Magnificent Jewels to be held on October 15

Group exhibition of video works, some shown for the first time in L.A. opens at Regen Projects

303 Gallery present their first exhibition of American artist Elad Lassry's new work

Exhibition features works from the dynamic period in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century

Exhibition explores the continuing resonance of José Guadalupe Posada's calaveras Mexicanas

William Pope.L's artistic versatility on view in new exhibition at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

"Gered Mankowitz: 50 Years of Rock and Roll Photography" opens at Snap Galleries

RM Auctions and Sotheby's lift the gavel on bespoke American motor cars in New York City

Design Miami returns presenting some of the most exciting ideas in collectible design

The Museum of Civilization in Europe and the Mediterranean passes the one millionth visitor mark

Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago opens exhibitions by Spencer Finch and Judy Ledgerwood

Carroll / Fletcher announces representation of German artist, adventurer and future Astronaut Michael Najjar

Expansive exhibition of African American art launches season at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

The Buchmann Gallery in Berlins opens its first solo show of works by Des Hughes

Five decades of black performance art electrifies New York City

4 Projects in Mexico: Kunstverein Munich opens exhibition

Paris-educated artist vows to redesign Albania

Exhibition of of Susan Derges' photographs opens at Danziger Gallery in New York

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site