A few days before the local elections on May 14, the Pyramid of Tirana turned into an electoral inauguration object, even though the red crane in the background of the photos shared by the municipality and the prime minister, proved that there is still a construction site there. Two days after the local elections, Faktoje found that the only part of the Pyramid that could be visited was the external stairs. Meanwhile, the coding center, which is also the goal of the 1.4 billion ALL project, is still not functional.
A week before the local elections, the mayor of the Municipality of Tirana, Erion Veliaj made another promise to open the Pyramid, as one of the largest multifunctional centers for young people.
“If we need digital space for the jobs of the future, we definitely need the Pyramid to open next week as the largest coding center for our children to do the jobs of the future,” declared Veliaj on May 7.
To see if Piramida, an investment of 1.4 billion lek, had started functioning as a coding center, Faktoje first made an observation on May 12. During the field survey, we noticed that the building was still a construction site, where many workers and loaded cars entered and left from time to time.
Photo Pyramid, May 12, 2023
None of the offices where the teaching process and activities are expected to take place were open. All you could see was visitors climbing to the top of the Pyramid.
Photo, May 12, 2023
On May 16, or 2 days after the local elections, we did another verification to see if the Pyramid had already been transformed into an information technology center. However, we found that the situation was the same, the facility was not ready. There were many workers and machines at the construction site. The object was surrounded on all sides, except for the front part you can see from “Dëshmorët e Kombit” Boulevard. The doors of the building were closed and the only thing that could be visited was the outside stairs.
Photo, May 16, 2023
A group of young people from Kosovo who had stopped to see the Pyramid told Faktoje: “It seems like a great project to us, we can see all of Tirana from here”.
Meanwhile, there were those who tried to enter, but the door did not open, and a kind of disappointment appeared on their faces.
“We are from Italy and we were hoping to see something more than just a view from the top of this building,” a young couple told Faktoje.
Photo, May 16, 2023
Regarding the project and the time the Pyramid was expected to open as a multifunctional center, we addressed a request for information to the Municipality of Tirana. We are waiting for a response from this institution within the legal deadlines for the Right to Information.
Request for information sent to Tirana Municipality, May 16, 2023
Pre-election propaganda for the opening of the Pyramid
3 days before the local elections, Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, announced the opening of the Pyramid. The news of its opening was also distributed by the press office of the prime minister and that of Tirana Municipality.
“The pyramid returns to Tirana today with a reborn dimension and a different grandeur than before, as the heart of the New Albania of Innovation and the largest digital technology destination in the region. The ambitious project for its revival has been successfully finalized on the site, transforming this space like never before, into an ornament for the capital with the prospect of one of the most visited points in the future for all tourists coming to Albania. PM Rama himself addressed the special evening dedicated to the opening of the Pyramid and the new space for the public”, says the press realease distributed to the media by the Prime Minister’s Office on May 11.
Photo distributed by press offices, May 11, 2023
In the press release distributed to the media on the same day, the Municipality of Tirana, among other things, announced: “The new Pyramid of Tirana, which will be the largest digital center in the Balkans, is opening. This evening, the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, together with Prime Minister Edi Rama, visited the most iconic, but already transformed facility of the capital, which will serve thousands of young people”.
The news was widely covered in the media, as a historic moment of the opening of one of the most important facilities for young people in Tirana.
The long series of unkept promises for the Pyramid
In February of this year, Faktoje reported on several unkept promises of the mayor of Tirana regarding the opening of the Pyramid.
Mayor Erion Veliaj, in September 2021, declared that in 2022 the largest technology center in the country would be opened for young people, referring to the Pyramid.
On the other hand, in September 2022, Veliaj announced through a statement that this space would be ready by the end of the year, while spring of 2023 would be used to furnish the buildings.
A month later, the Mayor promised that the final work would be completed by March 2023, thus giving three different deadlines for this public work.
On January 6, 2021, Faktoje reported the start of works for the revival of the Pyramid, which was also announced on the information board at that time.
On October 17, 2021, Faktoje, after the official response from the Municipality of Tirana, reported that the contract between the Municipality and the implementing company was signed on December 2, 2020 and the deadline for the works was 24 months.
However, all the deadlines have expired and after an electoral “inauguration”, the Pyramid of Tirana has not yet opened as a large technology center.