Albanian police have clashed with opposition supporters who were protesting the demolition of the country’s National Theater building in the capital of Tirana.
Police pulled a group of artists and some opposition leaders away from the building early Sunday morning before heavy machinery started to bring it down.
The government’s decision to destroy the old National Theater, built by Italians when they occupied Albania during World War II, was opposed by artists and others who wanted it renovated instead.
An opposition politician said 30 people, including a journalist, were detained by police. Authorities would not comment on the report.
Television footage showed Monika Kryemadhi, leader of a small opposition party and spouse of the country’s president, being put into a police van. The position of president in Albania is mostly a ceremonial post.
The leaders of the opposition Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, urged residents to topple the government over the theater’s destruction.