Albania, Tirane, Tirana. National Art Gallery exterior facade with advertising for photography exhibition.

© Bennett Dean / Eye Ubiquitous

National Gallery of Arts

Top choice in Tirana

Tracing the relatively brief history of Albanian painting from the early 19th century to the present day, this beautiful space also holds temporary exhibitions. The interesting collection includes 19th-century paintings depicting scenes from daily Albanian life and others with a far more political dimension, including some truly fabulous examples of Albanian socialist realism.

The ground-floor part of the gallery is given over to temporary exhibitions of a far more modern and challenging kind.

Don't miss the small collection of communist statues in storage behind the building, including two rarely seen statues of Uncle Joe Stalin himself. Immediately in front of the gallery is a huge spider-web-like sculpture that local children have commandeered as a climbing frame.

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