'''Lefter Harallamb Dilo''' (24 September 1914 - 14 January 1990) was an Albanian lecturer, publisher, writer and historian.
He is regarded as one of the most important museologists of Albania. He is the creator of the Gjirokastra’s Museum in which he served as its director for over three decades. Also he gave his assistance in the creation of the Albanian National Museum, Museum of Permeti, Saranda, Libohova etc.
There are about 2400 articles and reviews and some books that he wrote for different events or personalities such as ''Fan Noli'' and ''Faik Konica''
The documents and the writings that he gathered during his life, are considered as very important and his rare collections are linked with archeology, ethnography, folklore and cultural monuments. They now serve as point of reference and source of inspiration for young Albanian researchers.Many people call him ''‘’The King without crown of Balkan Museology’’''
He died in 1990 in Gjirokastra.
After his death in 2004 was declared ''Honorary Citizen of Gjirokastra.
== Life and Career ==
=== Early Life ===
'''Lefter Dilo''' was born in ''Ioannina'' , Greece (Janine ''shqip.'') on 24 September 1914 in a family of intellectuals of Greek origin. His father ,''Harallamb Dilo'' , was a well-known lawyer in that time. His Uncle was a lawyer too. Their family was one of the few albanian intellectuals families of that time.His mother Urania Kareco ''(Οὐρανία Kαρέτσου)'' was a housewife.
His father died at a young age and he had to care for his mother and his little sister.
Than he married in Gjirokastra with Eleni Leka and they had three children together.
==== Studies and Activities ====
Dilo was an excellent pupil with special skills and a big passion for history and foreign languages.
He took his first lessons in Gjirokastra, and than he attended the High School of Korca.
After finishing the Lyceum in 1937, he studied in Paris, France where he was graduated.
He returned in Gjirokastra and he served as a school teacher in ‘’Koto Hoxhi’’ school. Also in this period he dealed with cultural and educational activities.
=== His work after 1945 ===
At this young age his passion was concentrated on special studies and the propagandation of the Albanian values and history. His studies were of historic character. After the liberation of the country, in 1945 until 1948 he worked at the college newspaper ''‘’People's Tribune’’'' (‘’Tribuna e Popullit’’)
In 1948 - 1950 he worked as a teacher at Delvina (near '''Gjirokastra''') where he gave his help in the ‘’fight’’ against illiteracy and education of the people. Later he worked as a teacher of French language in Gjirokastra until 1955.
In 1955 he was appointed as director of the Museum Of Gjirokastra and served in this post until 1984 (at the age of 70 years). During this 30 year period he helped in the creation not only of the Gjirokastra’s Museum but also in the creation of National Museum in Tirana and other museums in Saranda, Delvina leaving deep traces in his works.
The professor and the well-known Albanian academician Alex Buda has said that '''' When I hear about Gjirokastra…about South Albania…my mind goes back to the museums, to Lefter Dilo, a wonderful memory of Albanians''
''Pandeli Pasko'', former ambassador of Albania, son of Dhimiter Pasko (Mitrush Kuteli) wrote on the newspaper "Repubblica" that he sent in 1998 to Bill Clinton, former U.S. president, two books of Lefter Dilo, ''"Ligjeron Fan Noli "''(1942) and ''"Himara dhe Himariotet'' "(1938), which along with many other titles would help President Bill Clinton to really learn about the history of Albania and Albanians and their gratitude to the former position towards Albania of President Wilson to the League of Nations in 1912.
=== Work as museologist and writer ===
He has accumulated from abroad valuable documents after collecting a long time as the original manuscripts of Lord Byron's for Albania, the original file of the trial to Avni Rustemi's in Paris, the original testament of ''Vangjel Zhapa'', the newspaper for three sponsors of the Olympics of Athens in 1896 between whom and Vangjel Zhapa, diaries from prominent European personalities , He collected in Albania the binoculars and the hat of Cerciz Topulli , carved staves of Idriz Guri ,''Enver Hoxha''’s rifle . Several weapons, clothing, manuscripts, photos and original documents of incalculable value, have been some of the treasures that the Albanian museologist, Lefter Dilo, gathered a few decades ago.
He was the creator, the designer and executor of ten museums, such as Ethnographic Museum, The Museum of National Liberal Antifascist War of Gjirokastra, the Museum of the Renaissance, The Museum of ‘’Lidhja e Prizrenit’’ of Gjirokastra, the school '' Drita'', the Cultural Monuments Museum of houses of Gjirokastra, of Avni Rustemi’s in Libohove, etc.
Lefter Dilo made a great effort in the creation of the memorial of Naim Frasheri in ''Saranda''. From Bistrica he took the first boat that sailed in the tunnel that was opened and brought to the town a rare relic of socialism at the pavilion of Gjirokastra.
In ''Bucharest'', together with Vehbi Bala , they created the Museum of The Albanian ‘’Colony’’ . In Përmet he helped the Congress Hall of Permet to turn into a museum and in Berat he also converted into a museum.the first headquarter of the Albanian democratic government in 1944
He was also a correspondent member of the Academy of Sciences. He has published various monographs for Albanian known figures like ''Koto Hoxhi Pandeli Sotiri, Mexi Jorgji, Bajo and Cerciz Topulli, Urani Rumbo'' etc.
He wrote ''Ditari Gjirokastrit'' (''''Gjirokastrit’s Diary'''' ), a rare act of value, authenticity and national wealth, seven monographs for some well-known Albanian patriots and ''Gjirokastra in centuries'' (''‘’Gjirokastra ne shekuj’''’) , which is a full historical monograph that includes 2 volumes and over 2400 pages of typescript. This monograph is of great importance for the history of Gjirokastra.
Dilo also wrote various books such as ''‘’Ligjeron Fan Noli’’'' and ''‘’Kandili I Kuq’’'' (for Faik Konica), ''‘’Drita qe cante erresiren’’''. The copies of these books can be found in the '''National Library in Tirana''', in the archives of ''"Vatra"'' in the U.S., or in the Library of Gjirokastra.
Much of his unpublished manuscripts can be found either in the Central State Archive, or in the archives of the Museum of Gjirokastra
== Death ==
'''Lefter Dilo''' died in ''Gjirokastra'' on 14 January 1990 , exactly one year after the burn of his house in 1989.
The burn of his house has been forwarded to the city as a great loss, not only for the family but for all Gjirokastra due to the informations that he gathered from archives and documents through his life. However his work remains alive even today.
After the death was declared '''‘’Honorary Citizen of Gjirokastra’’''' 18.12.2004.
== Notes ==
The Informations were gathered from newspapers
‘’Drita’’ (March 4, 1990, writing of ''Mehmet Gezhilli'')
'' Pararoja'' (January 20, 1990, of ''Violeta Gudha, Sedat Kale, Rashide Gjini, Naxhi Mamani and Vera Sako'')
'' Odrija'' (December 2004, from the ethnologist ''Thanas Meksi'')
'' Teachers'' (20 May 1990, from ''Alqi Jani'')
The writing of the museologist ''Kleanth Dedi''
And the newspaper ''Shqip'' (30.01.2010)