Velislav Minekov cuts the Gordian knot with Tobacco City

Acting Minister of Culture Prof. Velislav Minekov arrived in the Tobacco City on fire after false news about the demolition of buildings protected by law. It concerns two former warehouses at 51 Hristo Botev Blvd. and Hristo Lukov St. For both private buildings, there are opinions from the National Institute for Immovable Cultural Heritage /NINKN/ that they are not individual architectural monuments. The owners have gone through all the consent procedures, approved documents that allow their demolition, and an order from the local administration.

According to the post of arch. Petkana Bakalova, the two buildings should have been declared a single cultural value at a meeting of the specialized expert council at the National Institute of Natural Sciences today. It is unknown from what source, Mrs. Bakalova, who lives on a family basis with the director of the Institute, arch. Petar Petrov, had information that this did not happen for the building on Hristo Lukov Street, because Minister Minekov “kicked” a total of six warehouses off the agenda of the expert council. The lady even asks, “Why aren’t these buildings included to get a status to protect them” without worrying that

exports official information from the work of the institution, which is managed by its faithful arch. Petrov.

However, Minister Minekov was clearly not worried about this leak in the system and instead of looking for the culprits, he activated himself from the post of Arch. Bakalova and instantly flew to Plovdiv, as if the lady, except for his subordinate Arch. Petrov is also his boss.

In the end, it was not clear whether the two buildings for which the local administration had issued demolition orders were included in the 12 minus 5 in the NINKN’s list of protected buildings. According to information from employees of the Institute, it was Mrs. Bakalova who authored the proposal to declare them a cultural immovable property.

The drama near the warehouses began at noon today, when representatives of the Municipality of Plovdiv came to the Tobacco City to once again check whether the demolition documents were in order.

They were also activated with a phone call from Arch. Bakalova,

who apparently, in addition to being the head of the NINKN, also lives as the mayor of Plovdiv in the shadows. The officials’ check showed that everything with the documents was in order and the excavators continued their work.

Minister Minekov arrived at the place at 3:00 p.m., and together with him came the regional governor Angel Stoev, the director of the Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Dimitar Balev and the head of the NINKN arch. Peter Petrov. Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev was also expected, but he did not appear.

Around the representatives of the executive power, a protest took place, led by the incumbent Petkana Bakalova. She was followed by a handful of Democratic Bulgaria activists led by municipal councilor Veselina Alexandrova.

Stoyan Stoyanov, representative of “Capital Holding Group” /owner of the warehouse at 51 “Hristo Botev” Blvd./ once again stated to the journalists and the minister that all laws have been complied with and the authorities have no reason to stop the demolition of the building. He reminded that just a few days ago, the National Institute of National Statistics issued a document stating that the building is not a cultural monument and there are no obstacles to its removal.

Minister Minekov did not find a useful move, but declared that he would do everything possible to cut the Gordian knot with the Tobacco City in Plovdiv, which was entangled over the years precisely by the NINNK.

“I will not allow violations of the law. I will take measures and you will understand. Opinions are currently being written that will have to be followed. Everything will be done with the rule of law, not with destruction,” snapped Prof. Minekov angrily, after realizing that he was unable to stop the excavators.


should a warehouse that is visibly dangerous collapse and kill a person,

Prof. Minekov emphasized that prescriptions must be followed. He said that there were expectations today that this building, which is visibly dangerous – without windows and a roof – would be given the status of a cultural monument, but the moment was “slept by the previous ministers”. And he added: “I can’t come every week to Plovdiv as an ambulance.”

The minister admitted that the law on cultural heritage needs serious changes, and NINKN is slow in approving projects for buildings with the status of cultural value, because years ago the staff was 2,800 specialists, and now there are 44.

Arch. Petar Petrov announced that at yesterday’s specialized council of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage, it was decided that the warehouses at 8 “Odrin” Street and those on “Hristo Botev” Blvd. from #51 to #57 would receive the status of cultural values.

The proposal of the specialized council has yet to be agreed with the Minister of Culture.

Photos by Natasha Maneva

Zdravko Dimitrov, Mayor of Plovdiv: The actions of the NINKN are an abuse of power

“According to the logic and actions of the NINKN, every building and every panel can be declared a cultural monument,” said the mayor Zdravko Dimitrov, surprised by the reaction of the Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov and the head of the NINKN Arch. Petar Petrov on the occasion of another pasquila by arch. Petkana Bakalova.

The people of Plovdiv deserve to have a neighborhood like the Tobacco City, but with nice buildings, restaurants, cafes and galleries. This neighborhood could become pedestrianized and attract tourists, and it is high time for the NINKN to decide what to do with the owners of the buildings – which ones they can demolish and which ones they can restore. For 15 years now, nothing has happened, and the Institute is kicking the ball. There is no security for investors, since at any moment NINKN can include their property in the list of objects protected by law. It’s a walk of torment. This is an abuse of power.

At the time, my respected arch. Rumen Rusev left angry that he had illegally signed documents for the removal of the warehouse at 8 “Odrin” Street. It turned out that the building is not a cultural monument, and until now it is a ruin.

Plovdiv residents are rightly outraged by the appearance of the tobacco warehouses on the corner of Hristo Botev Blvd. and Avks. Veleshki”. The commission of experts has long established that they are dangerous, but it was the Ministry of Culture and the National Institute of Culture and Sports that stopped their demolition. If, God forbid, the building falls, as happened at “Alabin” in Sofia, who will be responsible? These problems must be solved and not deepened, as is currently the case, commented Zdravko Dimitrov.

The article is in Bulgarian

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