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Sustainable Models of Conservation and Revitalization for the Historic centers of Vuno & Qeparo: summary of CHwB proposals

 

CHwB Albania has concluded its analysis and adaptation to the local context of the Berlin University of Technology/ Urban Management Program (TUB/UM) proposal for “Sustainable Models of Conservation and Revitalization for the Historic Villages of Vuno & Qeparo”.  A short summary of proposals can be found here below.

 

Building upon the non-negotiable need of discussing and optimizing these innovative ideas with the support and buy-in from the local communities and key stakeholders, we are glad to propose a few adjustments aimed at increasing the adaptability of such interesting models in the local context.

 

For Qeparo, based on the extended discussions with local owners; the meetings with representatives of local and central institutions; the feedback from actors operating in the field of tourism and cultural heritage; grounded also on a solid analysis of the economic and legal contexts, we recommend that the scattered hotel should be based, at least during its start-up phase, on a grant-scheme (and the related technical assistance) that would balance better the financial and entrepreneurial risks, which currently sit entirely with the local owners. A variety of funding sources have been identified but further exploration is required should the project proceed to the next stage.

 

The adapted model of the scattered hotel overcomes also the inability for the local owners to join forces to create “cooperatives” or “land trusts” by basing the modus operandi of such structure on the classic form of “Limited Liability Company”. The proposal has raised the interest of several local owners that have expressed willingness to continue the dialogue about the scattered hotel in Qeparo. They were invited to carefully consider mock-ups of the planned interventions on their properties, costs and calendar of investments and the very encouraging return on investment rates. There seems to be a consensus among them and the core group of stakeholders that such a model’s finality should be to find the right balance between the opportunities related to tourism and preservation of the authenticity of the village. This balance needs to be established on a specific Visitor Experience that only Old Qeparo can provide and that needs to be clearly formulated prior to the operationalization of the scattered hotel. Its successful delivery requires support not only from the local owners, but it also entails a strong commitment from the Himara Municipality in partnership with Destination Marketing Organizations, tour operators and local inhabitants.

 

On the other hand, the Conservation Lab proposed for Vuno is to become an independent non-for-profit entity that would deliver training to local residents and students in restoration/conservation with an overall goal of enhancing local and authentic tourist experience. The setting up of the Conservation Lab was foreseen to be financed by profits generated from the scattered hotel in Qeparo, and was thought as a main body to implement all the conservation works, using the ongoing conservation for practical learning and teaching. But the model originally proposed has several crucial questions to solve, from the lack of local skill, to the need for structuring of a possible training body complying with long term and sustainable training of crafts-persons and students or the uncertainty of investments coming from the neighboring Qeparo residents. The adapted model initially proposed 2 possible partner schemes. After consultations with one of the key stakeholders, the Institute of Monuments of Culture (IMC), our proposal is focused on the more realistic scenario of developing local skills through certified training of local master crafts-person and apprentices, and the possible consolidation of IMC Regional Center for Conservation & Restoration of South East Europe into a center for training delivery in the future, and which could have a local out posting in Vuno. Furthermore, creating and strengthening the links with Academia is as well a crucial activity and therefore relevant actions are strongly suggested.

 

This project was funded by GIZ in the framework of The Integrated Sustainable Development of the Southern Coastal Region Program.

Vet 2 certification ceremony

VET group pictureIn the European Year of Cultural Heritage, 50 master craftspeople and apprentices were added to the growing list of certified people from the “Traditional Techniques in Building” training. The ceremony  was held in the UNESCO Hall of the National Historic Museum and  was attended by the Minister of Culture, Ms Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi and the Director of Institute for Monuments Protection, Ms. Arta Dollani. The audience was also addressed by the Ambassador of Sweden, Mr. Johan Ndisi, the Deputy Head of Mission and Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Germany, Dr. Johannes Dietrich and Mr. Gilbert Blumenstiel, from the Ministry of Economy, Energetics, Transportation and Regional Development in Hessen, Germany.

The project “Skills for Employability of Tomorrow” is a vocational training for historical repair techniques. The training is certified and enables young craftspeople to get employed, and work directly with restoration/conservation of historical buildings. At the same time the training is a platform of continuous transfer of skills from senior craftspeople to young apprentices. During the training participants get to know about historical usage of materials and different repair techniques, while practically working on actual monuments of culture in Berat, Gjirokastra and Korca. Three training modules have been implemented so far: Module 1 started in December 2016 and ended in June 2017, Module 2 started in May 2017 and was concluded in November 2017 and Module 3 started in May 2018 and ended in October 2018.

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The three training modules have been implemented in partnership with: Institute for Monuments Protection; Regional Directorates for National Culture in Korça, Berat and Gjirokastra; Regional Directorates for Professional Education in Korçë and Gjirokastra; Professional School “Stiliano Bandilli” in Berat; Donors are the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development of Hessen, Germany via GIZ and Swedish Government.

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Together with our partners, Ministry of Culture and Institute for Protection of Monuments of Culture, we are still working to create more employment opportunities for the young apprentices, acknowledge the skill and experience of former master craftspeople in the labor market and improve the quality of the restoration works in Albania.

VET

Concluding the 11th year of Regional Restorations Camps

Concluding the 11th year of Regional Restorations Camps

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2018 marked the 11th year of activities in the framework of the Regional Restoration Camps. It was also one of the busiest and most exciting years. Counting on the invaluable support of the Sweden Embassy in Tirana and the Albanian-American Development Foundation, and the cooperation of local and international craftspersons and professors, our teams successfully completed 6 Camps in Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. Representing more than 22 000 hours of training provided (80 hours/participant/camp), the Camps did not limit their impact only to education and awareness-raising, but they have provided real support to local communities through the completion of a dozens of interventions on important monuments in Gjirokastra, Përmet & Berat, the preventive conservation of more than 15 museum artifacts in Prishtina, the creative integration of traditional arts and crafts in 4 business concepts in Kruja, or the innovative interpretation strategies devised for 5 major cultural sites in Shkodra. In Rogljevo we joined forces with Vernadoc to apply a documentation methodology aiming also at an increased knowledge and appreciation for vernacular architecture.

 

RRC1The end of the year marks also the successful completion of the partnership with AADF, the University of Tirana and the Ministry of Culture. This cooperation allowed 178 Albanian students, namely those enrolled in the “Cultural Heritage Management and Archaeology” Program at the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana, to gather knowledge and practical experience. Through the inclusion of the Camps in the curricula of Master and Bachelor levels, this cooperation was aiming to boost employment opportunities for the qualified candidates who would successfully finalize 4 RRC during their Master studies, namely through the Ministry of Culture and subordinate institutions.

 

Finally during this year we gathered with our partners to jointly define the RRC model , a supporting tool that can be used to support further program design and planning; stakeholder engagement; documentation and communications; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

RRC Workshop Report

 Katiu Bridge

Announcing the 2018 Regional Restoration Camps

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For 2018, all four classic Camp themes are back. Besides we are proposing this year a new Camp location!

The 2018 Regional Restoration Camps will provide participants with engaging lectures and hands-on experience with restoration, conservation and historic crafts, using traditional materials and techniques, as well as with the interpretation of cultural heritage sites and museums. During each Camp, participants will follow a rigorous but very fulfilling schedule, which combines theory – through lectures and presentations – with exercises and physical work on historic monuments and artefacts in different locations around the region.

Each activity will be directly helping local residents – working to preserve their historic monuments, artifacts and crafts, and giving them new ways of understanding, enjoying and revitalizing them.

While they will be conducted separately, these restoration camps form part of a region-wide push to encourage people to understand the value and learn how to care for their local heritage. The main objective is to use cultural heritage as a platform for professionals, both men and women, to meet and create conditions for building peace within a democratic society, respecting human rights, and stimulating local economic growth through the development of cultural heritage.

For Albania, this year’s Camps will be a continuation of the enlarged RRC program that features cooperation between CHwB Albania and the Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF), the Albanian Ministry of Culture and the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana.

The 2018 Regional Restoration Camps are financed by the Albanian-American Development Foundation and the Government of Sweden.

Don’t miss your chance to take part in this incredible experience!

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Save the dates!

Be sure to pay close attention to the dates, themes and deadlines for each of the 2018 Camps. This year we propose two application windows.

Second application window: OPEN NOW! You can now apply to become parts of the following Camps scheduled in September.  The deadline for sending your application will be 17 June.

LOCATION DATES THEMES APPLICATION
DEADLINE
Rogljevo, Serbia 1 – 15 Sept Building conservation, interpretation 17June
Përmet, Albania 8 – 23 Sept Building conservation, interpretation 17June
Gjirokastra, Albania 8 – 23 Sept Building conservation, interpretation 17June

First application window: The application deadline for the Spring 2018 Camps scheduled in May and June was 15 April. This window is now closed.

LOCATION DATES THEMES APPLICATION
DEADLINE
Prishtina, Kosovo  20 – 31 May Conservation of artifacts, interpretation 15 April
Kruja, Albania 20 – 31 May Historical crafts and entrepreneurship 15 April
Shkodra, Albania 2 – 14 June Dynamic heritage interpretation 15 April
Berat, Albania 2 – 14 June Building conservation, interpretation 15 April

 

IMG_0279Fees & Scholarships The fee for participation in the Camps is 800 euros. This fee will cover tuition, on-site accommodation with breakfast, camp materials and tools, emergency health insurance and planned excursions. Participants will be responsible for paying for their own meals, as well as travel to the location of the Camp. Those costs are not included in the participation fee.*

For all accepted applicants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, there will be a scholarship to cover the costs of the Camp. The scholarship will pay the full 800 euro fee.

*EXCEPTION: For the RRC-VERNADOC camp in Serbia, participants are responsible only for their travel costs. The cost of accommodation and meals is covered by CHwBA.

Are you a former participant? You can still attend the other thematic Camps. Considering the variety of themes the RRC offer, we would like to give former Camps participants the chance to attend a camp with a new theme without having to pay the fee. (For example, if you were at a building conservation camp, you can submit your application for the interpretation camp or the historical crafts camp.) We like to see familiar faces, but keep in mind that first-time applicants will still have priority.

The same country-based eligibility requirements apply. (Participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia are eligible for free attendance).

If you are applying to a camp with the same theme as the camp you attended before, then you must still pay the fee.

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How to Apply

  1. Download the PDF application form (below):
    camp_application_SEPT2018
  2. Fill out the application completely, including all supporting documents
  3. Send the entire application by email or post to:
    Email:
    gro.b1624216516whc@C1624216516RR1624216516
    Post:
    CHwB Albania
    Rr. Ismail Qemali
    P. 34/1, Kati III, Zyra 15
    Tiranë, ALBANIA
  4. CHwB Albania staff will confirm that we have received your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 1 week, please contact us at gro.b1624216516whc@C1624216516RR1624216516

Volunteer leaders needed 

A note for past RRC participants: Would you like to experience the Camps again from the perspective of an organizer? Visit this page in order to see what it takes to become a volunteer leader at the RRC: http://chwb.org/albania/news/camp-volunteers-2018/

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New interpretative installations for the Castle of Gjirokastra

Aiming at improving the overall experience of the visitors at the castle of Gjirokastra, CHwB Albania developed its full interpretation plan. The most visited site in the city now offers detailed information on its history, its cultural and natural heritage, serving as an invitation to further explore the region.

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The project focuses on the natural as well as cultural interpretation of the castle in Gjirokastra, key to the socio-economic development of the city and its historical center.

These installations were developed in close consultation with historians, biologists (in the case of natural heritage), interpretation experts, architects, graphic designers, archaeologists, translators, local stakeholders, heritage authorities and future audiences and with input and feedback from main local and national stakeholders: DRKK-Gjirokastër and the Fato Berberi Children’s Cultural Center, Gjirokastra Municipality and Institute of Monuments of Culture.

PanelPanelCombined with the interpretive approach that emphasizes thematic ideas as the main learning objective, rather than memorizing facts, the output is a multi-layered introduction to the historical and natural significance of the castle.

A total of 19 interpretative panels, 9 orientation panels and 16 safety panels, as well as 1 banner and 1 interactive panel, together with handrails for 2 sets of stairs and lighting for 3 separate locations, were placed in the castle.

Panel timeline

More than 100.000 visitors of the castle during 2018 had the chance to interact with the new panels and visit new places of the castle by make use of the hand rails and lights.

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Call for Applications: 3rd module – Professional Course on Traditional Building Techniques

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The organization Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania, the Institute of Monuments of Culture, Regional Directorates of National Culture of Berat, Gjirokastër and Korça, Regional Directorates of Public Vocational Trainings of Gjirokastra and Korça and the Professional High School “Stiliano Bandilli” in Berat announce the opening of the application period for  the 3rd module of vocational training in traditional building techniques.

The course is a 6 months intensive training (April-October 2018), divided in:

  • 6 weeks of theoretical training, covering subjects such as basic principles of conservation, traditional materials and techniques, evaluation and documentation
  • 4 weeks of combined theoretical and practical training, divided into three main materials: stone, wood, plaster/mortar
  • 12 weeks of practical works in historical buildings

The training will run in parallel in three historical cities Berat, Gjirokastër and Korça. This training is funded by the Ministry of Economics, Energy Transportation and Regional Development of the State of Hessen – Germany via GIZ, and the Swedish Government.

Participants will receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.

 Applicants must meet the following requirements:
This training is opened to employees of licensed conservation companies, free professionals and the ones who are interested to start learning the restoration craftsmanship. Applicants need to:

    • Have an Albanian citizenship
    • Have finished High-School or professional education

Note: Different training or work experiences with historic buildings are considered as an extra value.

  • Applicants employed in licensed conservation companies need to have a working contract or a written confirmation from their employees.

 Application period is open until 16th of April 2018, 12:00.
Application form can be dowloaded here: Teknikat_tradicionale_ne_ndertim_Formular_aplikimi_2018_CHwB

Interested parties can apply by submitting the application form and the supplementary documents: a copy of the ID card, a copy of the High School or Professional Education diploma, and (for applicants employed in licensed conservation companies only) a copy of the working contract or a written confirmation from employees, and sending them by post to CHwB Albania in the following addresses:
Rr. Ismail Qemali, P.34/1 Kt. III,
Zyra Nr.15
 TIRANA

Rruga e Zejtarëve, Pazar
GJIROKASTRA

For more information write us at:  gro.b1624216516whc@a1624216516inabl1624216516a1624216516 or contact us at the following number:

CHwB Albania
0696557187

As part of the project, there will be a fund covering the expenses of the participants. The organizers will cover the following expenses: expenses of the training (lectures, spaces needed for the training, construction materials, tools, safety tools, training related transport costs), meal allowances (appropriate for each of the three sites).

Camp volunteers needed – apply now!

IMG_7284Are you a former Camp participant looking to stay involved with the Regional Restoration Camps? Do you want to share your knowledge and experience with a new group of eager participants?

CHwB-Albania is looking for volunteers to assist at this year’s Regional Restoration Camps. Camp volunteers will attend the full camp and assist with a variety of tasks to help make the experience as rewarding as possible for participants. They will help organizers, craftspeople and participants with issues of coordination, communication and guidance. Be sure you understand the duties and meet the eligibility and qualifications before applying!

Why Volunteer?

IMG_9060By volunteering you will have the opportunity to make the difference; every person counts. Your help in conserving and promoting cultural heritage is vital for passing it on to the next generations. Working with participants and lecturers, the Camps make possible the preservation and maintenance of cultural sites, artefacts and traditions. They also strengthen the connection of communities with their heritage. Working with Camps puts us in contact with many people on a daily basis. For this reason, we can offer support to all “heritage-keepers.”

This is a valuable opportunity to gain new skills or build knowledge and experience in the field of cultural heritage, specifically on building conservation, conservation of artifacts, interpretation, traditional crafts and entrepreneurship. The close cooperation with craftspeople, artisans and lecturers will increase your knowledge on conservation and craftsmanship. You will have the opportunity to socialize, meet people and make new friends who share the same interests as you.

What are the duties of a Camp Volunteer?

ZZ_minaVolunteers will receive instructions related to their responsibilities during the Camp. They may be asked to assist with the following areas:

  • Organizational tasks (responsibility over the registration, lecture room, tools)
  • Responsibility over the working sites (assisting the crafts, documenting each project, implementing safety measures, making sure everyone is working towards the final result)
  • Communication/Community (being the bridge between organizers and participants, translations, facilitating discussions, communicating with local community and media)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a former participant of a CHwB Albania Regional Restoration Camp
  • Speak fluent English. Speaking the primary language of the country where the Camp is held is an added value: Albanian (for the Camps in Albania & Kosovo) or Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian (for the Camp in Serbia)
  • Be an honest, cheerful and efficient worker
  • For Rogljevo Camp: Include with your application 3 examples of your drawings (no more, no less!). At least one of those should be a drawing that you have done by hand (even if the subject is not architectural). If you have worked on heritage documentation in the past, please include a sample. Each of your 3 images should be formatted in A4, and the total file size should not exceed 12MB.
  • For Shkodra Camp: You should have some prior experience with heritage interpretation, either through the Regional Restoration Camps or through your own work.

Save the dates!

The second application window is OPEN NOW! You can now apply to become parts of the following Camps scheduled in September.  The deadline for sending your application will be 17 June. Be sure to pay close attention to the dates, themes and deadlines for each of the 2018 Camps.

Please take note of the volunteer application DEADLINE for each Camp below:

LOCATION DATES THEMES APPLICATION
DEADLINE
Prishtina, Kosovo  20 – 31 May Conservation of artefacts, interpretation 15 April (CLOSED)
Kruja, Albania 20 – 31 May Historical crafts and entrepreneurship 15 April (CLOSED)
Shkodra, Albania 2 – 14 June Dynamic heritage interpretation 15 April (CLOSED)
Berat, Albania 2 – 14 June Building conservation, interpretation 15 April (CLOSED)
Rogljevo, Serbia  1 – 15 Sept  Building conservation, interpretation  17 June
 Përmet, Albania  8 – 23 Sept  Building conservation, interpretation  17 June
 Gjirokastra, Albania  8 – 23 Sept  Building conservation, interpretation  17 June

Expenses

CHwB Albania will cover all in-country costs for volunteers, including accommodation, meal allowance, excursions, travel within the country and costs connected to volunteer duties. Volunteers coming from outside the country will have to cover their own costs for travel to the country where the camp is located.

How to apply

  1. If you meet these requirements and want to dive back into the exciting and rewarding atmosphere of the CHwB-Albania Regional Restoration Camps, download the PDF application (below):
    volunteer_application_SEPT_2018
  2. Fill out the application completely, including all supporting documents
  3. Send the entire application by email or post to:

Email:
gro.b1624216516whc@c1624216516rr1624216516

Or

Post:
CHwB Albania
Rr. Ismail Qemali
P. 34/1, Kt. III, Zr. 15
Tiranë, ALBANIA

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VET certification ceremony

group photoThe ceremony of certificate handing for the program Skills for Employ-ability of Tomorrow was held at the Academy of Arts in Tirana. 80 master  craftspeople and assistant craftspeople were certified after successfully completing their training. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture, Ms Mirela Kumbaro Furxhi, the Director of Institute for Monuments Protection, Ms. Arta Dollani and high representatives of German and Swedish Embassy, as well as all certified craftspeople and assistant-craftspeople .

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The project “Skills for Employability of Tomorrow” is a vocational training for historical repair techniques. The training is certified and enables young craftspeople to get employed, and work directly with restoration/conservation of historical buildings. At the same time the training is established as a platform of continuous transfer of skills from senior craftspeople to young apprentices. During the training participants get to know about historical usage of materials and different repair techniques, while practically working on actual monuments of culture in Berat, Gjirokastra and Korca. The training was divided in two modules: Module 1 started in December 2016 and ended in June 2017, and Module 2 started in May 2017 and was concluded in November 2017.

handing our certificatesThe training program was developed in partnership with: Institute for Monuments Protection; Regional Directorates for National Culture in Korça, Berat and Gjirokastra; Regional Directorates for Professional Education in Korçë and Gjirokastra; Professional School “Stiliano Bandilli” in Berat; Donors are the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development of Hessen, Germany via GIZ and Swedish Government.

Emergency Interventions for the Stabilization of the Buildings of Spaç Prison

During 2017 CHwB Albania, with the support of Swedish Government, implemented a set of emergency interventions in the former Prison of Spaç. These interventions were were an absolute necessity after more than 20 years of abandonment, deterioration and continuous damages caused to the building and landscape.

The goals of these interventions were:

  1. Preserving the buildings as an important evidence of the site.
  2. Increasing visitor’s safety.
  3. Helping the future process of interpretation by creating a clearer idea of how the ruins used to work through careful cleaning of the debris.
  4. Contribute to the increase of attention given to the former Prison of Spaç as a site that needs to be preserved and used for the education of the future generations.

 

Physical interventions that were carried out through this project were:

  1. Cleaning and hydro-insulating the terraces

The insulation of the terraces of the 9 buildings still standing was in very poor condition. Rain water entering the building structure was one of the main cause of the deterioration of the buildings.the remaining layers of insulation were carefully removed, the terraces were cleaned and then a new insulation layer was applied.

  1. Stabilizing damaged structures

Some of the buildings of the former Spaç Prison were facing serious structural problems. An stabilizing interventions was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the buildings and to increase the safety of the visitors of the site. Scaffolding-like propping structures were chosen for their static role, but also as they do not damage any of the writings on the walls made by prisoners, nor the communist slogans painted in the facades. Another advantage of these structures is that they can be easily removed, if needed,in case of the implementation of another future intervention.

  1. Cleaning and organizing the ruins

Part of the buildings of the former prison have collapsed entirely, while archival material describing how the prison used to work are missing, making it very difficult for visitors and researchers to understand the site. In order to tackle this issue part of the ruins were cleaned manually and part of the found material was carefully deposited, in order to understand as much as possible from their previous function.

Untitled-1Full hydro-isolation of the flat roofs of the buildings to protect the structures underneath.

 

Untitled-1 - CopyUntitled-2Careful cleaning and reorganizing the ruins in order to understand better the site.

 

Untitled-2 - CopyStabilization of the damaged structures of the prisoners cafeteria and dormitories.

 

Tender announcement

Object of the tender: Restoration of the “Loli-Qirinxhi” shop in the Old Bazaar of Korça

Cultural Heritage without Borders–Albania  (CHwB – Albania) invites companies that are licensed for cultural heritage restoration work to submit financial offers for restoration and conservation work on the second-category monument of culture “Loli Qirinxhi” shop. This project is financed by the Government of Sweden, through CHwB Albania.

Place, office and method of taking the tender documents:

You can take the tender documents at the CHwB Albania offices at the following address: Rr. Ismail Qemali, P.34/1 Kt. III, Zyra Nr.15, Tiranë.

Starting from the distribution date of this notice 30/10/2017, the tender documents can be taken from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 10:00 and 16:30. The deadline for submitting offers is 09/11/2017 at 12.00, which will also be the time for opening the documents.

To download the full announcement, click here: 01_Njoftimi i plote_Loli-Qirinxhi (Albanian)

 

Contact:

E-mail: gro.b1624216516whc@a1624216516inabl1624216516a1624216516

Telephone: 0692782230