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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ speech at the inauguration of the exhibition “Improvisations” featuring creations by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama (Zappeion Megaron, 20.03.2023)

It is my great pleasure today to welcome here in Athens, on behalf of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who will be arriving shortly, the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
A project that, in addition to its artistic value, contributed to, if not entirely created, a sense of social cohesion. It instilled a sense of belonging among the citizens of the Albanian capital.
Many of us may be unaware of his artistic talent and that as an artist he has had a long and very interesting, dare I say unique, career.
I was a very young student of the Athens University, being somewhere there, behind the columns, and watching Georgios Rallis and Konstantinos Karamanlis signing right here.
As a result, he actively articulates an extroverted partnership between the practice of art and politics. His works share a sense of flow and movement as well as the biomorphic shapes that seem to emerge from one another.
As Mayor of Tirana, he revitalized, renovated, and transformed the city’s image with minimal resources. He painted the battered facades of its old buildings with bright colors, with geometric shapes.
Thus, Edi Rama’s artwork is linked to his concept of art that is inextricably connected to life; a concept of art that has a social role, that is accessible to all.
Our two countries enjoy excellent relations. Our contacts have been very frequent lately. And having the opportunity to host here, in Zappeion Megaron your artworks, proves the friendly sentiments we share which, I believe, represent the strong bond between our peoples.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank the exhibition’s curator, Katerina Koskina, for her excellent work today. I’d also like to thank the Chairwoman, Ms. Vagena, and the members of the Board of Directors of the Olympic Committee and Bequests, for their valuable assistance in making this exhibition and event a reality.
Edi Rama improvises on A4-sized paper that has previously been used in his office, with bright colors, with the ability to identify artistic movement. As he has confessed, this automatic artistic writing also helps him concentrate on his Prime Ministerial duties.
From Paris as a young painter to the artistic transformation of the city of Tirana and the 2004 World Mayor Award.
Thank you very much.
We deeply appreciate it, Prime Minister. On this very special occasion tonight, we welcome Edi Rama in a different capacity, that of the artist.
I’d like to recall that he declared March 5th as Albania’s National Day of Mourning, making Albania the only country on the planet to do so, aside from the Republic of Cyprus.
And of course, his wife Linda and their son Zaho. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Mr. Rama for his tangible, wholehearted support to the Greek society following the tragic accident in Tempi.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ speech at the inauguration of the exhibition "Improvisations" featuring creations by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama (Zappeion Megaron, 20.03.2023)N. DENDIAS:  Dear Prime Minister of Albania, dear Edi, dear Mr. Vice President, my dear Linda, will you allow me, my dear Zaho, ladies, and gentlemen.
Today, we will have the opportunity to see how Edi Rama’s work challenges conventional divisions. It can be seen artistically, but it can be perceived politically as well.
Today’s exhibition displays mixed media works and sculptures by Edi Rama. Its title reflects the artist’s unique working style.
This project’s international prominence led to the organization of the first Biennale of Contemporary Art in Tirana in 2001.
So, in this way, it reflects how we see Albania: a neighbor, a close friend, and allow me to say, we hope soon, a part of our common European family.
What’s more, the choice of Zappeion Megaron for your exhibition bears a very strong and clear symbolism. This is exactly where the Treaty of Accession to the then-European Economic Community was signed back in 1979.
Allow me at this point, to add a few words in English, dear Edi.


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