Facing the rapid loss of the authentic values of Gjirokastra’s built heritage and knowing that change can be achieved only with inclusive approaches, CHwB decided to start an awareness campaign. The multidimensional approach to understanding the problem began with a survey focused on monument owners and their understanding of the values their buildings have.
The survey covered eight neighborhoods in the historical part of Gjirokastra, with a total of 253 monument owners surveyed. The questions addressed owners’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices in relation to cultural heritage and restoration.
The survey team was comprised of CHwB staff, a US Peace Corps volunteer and several young volunteers from Gjirokastra. Following a brief training, three teams, composed of one supervisor and two volunteers, were each assigned to different neighborhoods.
The results of this survey will help us to conduct community meetings and educational workshops, addressing the problems that the historic zone is facing. The more we
understand about the intervention practices of monument owners, the more we will
understand about why the authentic value of Gjirokastra’s built heritage is deteriorating so quickly. And, therefore, the quicker we will be able to reverse this trend.