Memorie.al/The National Museum “Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu” in Kruja, which for years remains one of the most frequented throughout the year by foreign and domestic tourists as well (compared to all other museums in Albania), was inaugurated on November 1, 1982 and it was designed by two well-known architects of that time, Pirro Vaso and Pranvera Hoxha. In that museum complex that consists of several pavilions and halls where many original objects or reproductions, relics and documents with rare historical and museum values are exhibited, there are also some paintings that have been made by some of the most famous authors of Albanian painting. For example. Naxhi Bakalli mural, entitled “Battle of Skanderbeg”, located in the main hall, which according to the directors of this museum, after the ’90s until today, is one of the most visited by foreign and domestic tourists also.
That rare and unique work in Albania, the critics of visual arts have appreciated it not only because of its size (it is the largest art in Albania of all time), but also by its composition, which it also carries rare values and constitutes a masterpiece that every country would be proud of. While these things are already quite familiar, what is not well known is the work that the author Bakalli had to do and the difficulties that the author went through to achieve it. Which is a sad chapter in itself and is not the subject of these few lines, but it must be said that before the master Bakalli won the competition (based on sketches) for its realization, two or three years ago (1974) , he was severely criticized by critics and instructors covering art in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the ALP, being accused of being “modernist” as his works “deviated from Cubist art” and were “outside the framework of socialist realism”, e Thus, the secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP, Ramiz Alia, among others in the relevant report where the master Bakalli was “crucified”, had written “To leave Tirana and send teachers to a remote village or agricultural cooperative culture house” . Which did not happen because Bakalli presented his sketches in the competition that opened for the mural of the Skanderbeg Museum in Kruja, where he won first place and realized it after several years of work full of obstacles and vicissitudes.
Based on the above, exclusively for Memorie.al we are publishing some completely unknown photos that are published for the first time, which present us the most famous master of the Albanian easel and brush, prof. Naxhi Bakalli, while he was working on the Skanderbeg mural in that museum, moments of meditation, or rest with his assistants, etc. Along with these photos, we are publishing some other photos, where he went out with his family, his wife, Violeta Grimci Bakalli (famous pianist) and the children, who always stayed close to him. / Memorie.al