Speech by the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr. Ardian Fullani, at the ceremony for the inauguration of the Research Centre in Berat

Publication date: 10.02.2010


Dear friends, guests, colleagues and collaborators,

I have a special pleasure today to cut the red tape for the inauguration of one of the newest buildings of the old city of Berat, the Research Centre of the Bank of Albania. Building this Centre, the Bank of Albania aimed at joining the Berat citizens in telling a valuable story. To this end, we have adhered to the architectural values of Manghalem museum vicinage, believing that the architectonic quality and originality are irreplaceable values, which make the city of Berat an important part of the country's cultural heritage. Therefore, I am convinced that we have contributed to the charm of this city, through this new building, which is in perfect harmony with the one-thousand window picturesque ensemble.

There is an admirable understanding in our institution, when it comes to the cultural heritage of Albania. That is why, during the last two years, we have taken concrete steps in terms of documentation, preservation and dissemination of it. Let me remind you that at the end of each year the Bank of Albania has been very prudent in disseminating cultural values through the next-year calendar. I would highlight here the last BoA calendar, where we managed to produce, through a devoted work, a very special publication, reflecting the country's 12 ancient sites, where ancient coins dating back to B.C. have been discovered.

At first glance, cultural heritage and central banking may seem disconnected, detached from each-other. Personally, I believe the contrary. Central banks are carriers of a nation's culture. They carry within themselves the treasures of a nation, the toil and sweat of generations and put them in view of the future. Central banks, as successors of commercial banks, since their origin, relate with art and culture of a country, show the degree of civilization and its long path towards prosperity. The discovery of numbers, letters, figures, created the foundation of culture and art of a nation, being widely reflected in coins, icons, codex and monuments. The relationship between art, culture and money, has always made me believe that they have lived together and are destined to resist time, because they have preserved their identity. As the form, goal, idea, content of an icon resemble to those of a coin, similarly, its separate elements may be in concert with a monument, a score, a costume or an old song. In the above sense, they are treasures; they are reserves; they are investment. In the course of centuries, they have denoted the spirit, faith, strength, wealth and culture of a nation. They are traded and have passed on to new generations, spreading knowledge and civilization, gaining new values and bringing us prosperity. These values have passed from one mind to another, making history; the caution for this historical legacy is the best investment, the added value for the next generation.

The culture and coins inherited in centuries belong to all of us and with these values we will enter Europe. Faith in language, customs, art, coins and culture has brought progress to our society, keeping the Albanian identity alive.

The Bank of Albania, as the sole monetary authority of the country, takes care of the country's currency and financial health. In communicating with other central banks and important international institutions, it is essential that the Bank conveys, in addition to professional achievements, the country's national identity highlighting the outstanding values of the national cultural heritage. This image makes the central bank a more reliable and dignified partner. 

A country's currency itself, with its history, represents a unique value in the cultural heritage of each nation. The currency is another element that creates an essential bridge between a country's central bank and cultural heritage.

Another factor is related to the buildings, where central banks conduct their activity. In most cases, central banks own entire complexes as properties, which from the viewpoint of historical and architectural values reflect the most mature parts of heritage in this area.

Choosing such central bank buildings is not a coincidence. They should convey to the public the message of independence, stability, prosperity, vision and trust. I believe that Bank of Albania's building located in the "Scanderbeg" Square and the one we are inaugurating today are as such.

Our legal mandate for price stability or financial stability, inter alia, implies an overall political, social and cultural environment that rightly interprets the role of money in the economy:

· The way money is created and the way to preserve its value;

· The way it finances our needs, including our heritage properties;

· The way it finances the safeguarding of our tangible or intangible assets;

- The way it finances the absorption of foreign experience and the way the foreigners use it to visit our heritage.

Dear friends,

Today's inauguration marks a return of the lost values. Notwithstanding the important function that the previous object has carried out for the city and for our country in general, a typical deed of socialist realism, it was in contrast with the ensemble of historical houses, spoiling the appearance of the area. Today, the Bank of Albania is proud of offering the city and every visitor, an architectural symbol that embodies prominent hospitable values and features, accepted to a great extent by citizens, local authorities and everyone that has seen it.

My personal ambition for the future is the use of this building to liven up the city of Berat. If we had offered only a numismatic museum, I believe that our success would have been incomplete. Aiming right from the start at economic and social revival of the city, the Bank of Albania is offering a genuine centre of research and training, where stories of modern visitors will be interwoven with stories, places and dates of human drama that has taken place in this 2400-year old city.

Our aspirations are as desirable as feasible. I will do my best to turn this centre into a regional one, whose regular frequenters will be our colleagues from the region and beyond.

I am convinced that with the establishment of this Research Centre, the Bank of Albania will give new impetus to its scientific work, better determining the causality that characterizes the interaction of economic and financial indicators in Albania. I am also convinced that our experience, through this investment, will gain a new dimension vis-à-vis international experience, being further completed with an excellent infrastructure. Finally, I am also convinced that we have already created a functional logistical support to pass on contemporary knowledge to the new generation of professionals and beyond, in the field of banking, money and finance.

Our projections for the near future constitute programs for dealing with regional themes on Balkan civilization or its various categories, such as art, literature, culture, architecture and why not, the banking industry during respective stages of this civilization.

We believe that such a cooperation will not only raise the promotion of our region with common and diverse traditions, but will also contribute to making an efficient use of existing resources and generating ideas, projects and additional resources from our regional partners.

Dear friends,

I believe that I am not saying anything new, when emphasizing that the pride of each nation is rooted in the culture and that no nation can be mature without an outstanding past in its culture and tradition. Every nation is a legacy of beliefs, habits and knowledge collected, arranged and processed gradually in the course of centuries.

Believing in the significance of this statement, I hope that our contribution to the city of Berat will serve the whole community of this city, further preserving and enriching it, in order to leave it as inheritance to future generations. Only in this way, with the passing of years, the ancient and medieval heritage of this city will be enriched with new values of tomorrow.

Kasem Aga, the architect of the Sultan, wrote about the tap he donated to the city: ... "I did this act of charity to arouse envy to the beholders ...", and today, on behalf of the Bank of Albania, we bring this deed to the benefit of this city.

Thanking you wholeheartedly, I invite you to visit the interior premises of the Centre.