"Durrësi, Major Lodewijk W.J.K. Thomson" Top 5 Page for this destination Durres Things to Do Tip by JLBG
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During the first Balkanic war, Major Lodewijk W.J.K. Thomson was in mission of peace in Albania. He was the first Dutch soldier to die in this peace mission and his death lead to the withdrawal of the entire peace corp. In the Netherland a monument reminding his memory was built in 1918 in Groningen, The monument was a bust carved first by Charles van Wijk and, after his death, by Prof Arend Willem Maurits Odé. In 2002, it was relocated to Den Hague. The goal of the Thomson Foundation is to remind the almost forgotten Dutch peace mission in Albania.
A monument had also been erected in Durrësi where LWJK Thompson died. This monument was later destroyed. A wild guess would be that this occurred during Enver Hoxja regime, when a monument to a foreign military should have been considered as an offence to the nation.
Thomson was made honorary citizen of Durrësi in 2000 and awarded from the Albanian government the country’s highest honor, the Golden Eagle. His grandson received this honor in belief of his grandfather. The Albanian parliament approved that the new military academy for junior officers in Durrësi would be named after him. This Albanian academy has a cooperation with the Royal Military Academy in Weert (Netherlands).
In Durrësi, in may/june 2003 a bronze replica of the Groningen monument has been erected to replace the destroyed monument. However, what I do not understand well is that the Groningen/Den Hague monument is a bust while the “replica” in Durrësi is a carved bronze sheet written in Albanian affixed on an ancient Roman’s column! Strange!
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