By Besar Likmeta
Albanians are marking the 100th anniversary of their country’s independence with concerts, exhibitions, fairs and new monuments in the capital, Tirana, and in Vlora.
The festivities in Tirana began on Monday with the inauguration of a mosaic of the Albanian flag, with stones collected from battlefields linked to the struggle for independence a century ago.
The program in Tirana will include a fair with Albanian products, several open air concerts, new monuments, exhibitions and a massive centennial cake.
In Vlora, the city where Albania’s independence from the Ottoman Empire was declared on November 28, 1912, the party starts on Tuesday with the bestowal of an honorary citizenship award to Albanian writer Ismail Kadare and Kosovo academic Rexhep Qosja.
On Tuesday afternoon a new statue of Albania’s founding father, Ismail Bej Vlora, will be unveiled while several concerts and exhibitions will also be held.
Both Tirana and Vlora are decked out with the Albanian flag and its colours, hanging from public buildings, businesses, private homes, cars and motorcycles.
Several statues, including one of King Zog and several others of signatories of the declaration of independence, have been unveiled over the past week.
Meanwhile thousands of Albanians have flocked to an exhibition of the weapons of their national hero, Skanderbeg, on loan from an Austrian museum.