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A Former Fallout Shelter of a Dictator Is Now an Art Gallery

Underneath Tiranë, the capital of Albania, there is a five-story bunker of spidery hallways and over 100 rooms. Originally codenamed “Objekti Shtylla,” the shelter was built in the 1970s under the orders and direction of Enver Hoxha, communist leader of Albania for over four decades. What was once intended to protect Hoxha and his cabinet in the event of a nuclear attack is now a mixed-use art and culture center, but with a keen eye towards preservation and remembrance of the dark years under Hoxha’s rule.

Known as Bunk’Art, 24 rooms of the sprawling shelter have been converted into a history museum and contemporary art gallery, the result of the combined efforts of the Albanian government and a nonprofit art collective called Qendra Ura or “Center Bridge.”

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