The National Museum of Photography ‘Marubi' was established as an absolute need to identify and promote the photographic archive created by the Marubi Dynasty and other city of Shkodra photographers, a cultural heritage unique in its kind.
At the center of the museum project is the legacy of the ‘Photo-Studio Marubbi', founded in 1856 by Pietro Marubbi, an Italian painter and photographer who came and settled in Shkodra at the time. The activity of the studio over the years, was directed and enriched by three generations of photographers, until the early 1950s.The collection depicts important historical events and proves to record the first traces of the Albanian photographs. Various techniques have been used through the year: from the wet-collodion to the gelatin dry process, planfilms, infrared photography and celluloid roll films.
Part of the preserved materials are different artefacts such as the old registers of the photographers, albums, technical equipments used in the private studios prior to the nationalization.
The unique heritage of Marubu Photo-Studio is one of the most famous attractions of the city of Shkodra and Albania, becoming part of international guides. To further promote it and with the aim of making it a world heritage site, work has been underway for two years to include the Marub Museum in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Marubi Photo-Studio was founded in 1970 with around 500,000 negatives in various techniques and formats. The new museum, projected by the architectural studio Casanova + Hernandez has been designed as a space which promotes the precious dialogue between tradition and modernity, the past and the present. The heritage and tradition are unfolded by means of the restoration project of the historic building designed by Kole Idromeno – Albanian artist and architect, former student of Pietro Marubbi – while preserving its structural features.
The new museum is extended beyond the walls, in the pedestrian area of the city, through an exhibition located in front of its entrance, conceived as a connecting element which enables the living model of the museum to act as the cultural marker for the city of Shkodra. The set of programs proposed by the museum are an active mechanism for the promotion of the values of its cultural heritage in the city and beyond. The dynamics of the museum's activities has consistently attracted the interest of visitors, researchers and curators at home and abroad since its opening. Marubi Museum was among the finalists nominated for the prestigious award, European Museum of the Year EMYA 2017.
According to the officials involved, during this period a voluminous and comprehensive work has been done and there is hope that within 1 year to receive a positive response to this initiative.