The District Prosecutor’s Office in Plovdiv is self-referred to publications in the media and ordered an inspection in connection with the demolition of a tobacco warehouse at 51 “Hristo Botev” Blvd. Before that, the Expert Council for the Preservation of Heritage declared the warehouse an immovable cultural asset, BNT reported.
The original discussion, which was organized at the site of yet another destroyed warehouse in the Tobacco City in Plovdiv, ended. It was organized on social networks. The Acting Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov also arrived on the spot, and the presence of Plovdiv residents was rather sluggish.
Minekov recalled the obligation of the Plovdiv Municipality, which gave the green light for the demolition of this building, that according to Art. 17 of the Law on the Preservation of Cultural Heritage has the obligation to take care of its preservation, as well as to have a Public Council established for the municipality. As of yesterday, this warehouse received the status of a protected site of local importance, and the minister’s order was signed today, BNT also reports.
Late last night, during his second extraordinary visit to Plovdiv, the Minister of Culture Velislav Minekov was adamant that he will stop the demolition of buildings in the Tobacco City and very soon this and 11 other buildings in the area will be declared cultural monuments.
“This expert council has made its decision today, it will be signed by me tomorrow morning. – Will this oblige them to restore the building in the original? – Of course. Yes, I’m sorry, but this is a crime against our history,” said Prof. Velislav Minekov, Acting Minister of Culture.
A representative of the investors explained that until August 31, they did not receive a correct notification from the institutions for which building from the land property a protected status is being prepared, as the letters from the administration indicated an incomplete identifier of the property.
“We are informed that in this UPI some procedure is starting for a building, but we do not know for which building,” said Stoyan Stoyanov, a representative of the owners, quoted by the national television.
It was only on the last day of August that two notifications were received from the Ministry of Culture in which the cadastral number of the building was correct. The meeting of the Expert Council for the Protection of Cultural Heritage is a day later – on September 1. Thus, the owners actually had only 24 hours for objections, instead of the statutory 7-day period.
According to the mayor of Plovdiv, Zdravko Dimitrov, the institutions have been neglecting the fate of the Tobacco City for years. “I do not approve of the attitude of the National Institute of Culture and Culture and the Ministry of Culture, because this is carelessness, they do not take action,” said Zdravko Dimitrov – Mayor of Plovdiv.
Based on the fact that as of August 17, the warehouse at 51 Hristo Botev Blvd. was not a cultural monument, the Municipality of Plovdiv signed the documents for its demolition, having previously notified the NINKN that such requests had been submitted by the investors.
“On August 1, the applications were received, we informed in a timely manner, as we know that there is a procedure for drawing up regimes, we have informed the NINKN that there is an application for demolition, we have no legal basis to refuse,” explained architect Plamena Andonova to BNT.
In the last one year, a commission from the National Institute of National Statistics of Ukraine has twice inspected the buildings, and the owners did not allow the experts into some of them.
“I am very sorry that the answer at the moment is this. Many things have happened since 2009 until now, I have information that for all the buildings on the territory of the Tobacco City there were ready-made slips that had to be submitted to the council and that not done,” said Arch. Petar Petrov – director of the National Institute of National Statistics.
According to Minister Minekov, the problem is staffing at the Institute for the Protection of Immovable Heritage. From over 2,000 people a few years ago, the institution now employs 47 experts.
“At the moment we are expecting 6,000 files, imagine what work this small team has to do in order to protect 40,000 objects”, explained Prof. Velislav Minekov.
The prosecutor’s office today tasked the Economic Police to establish within a month whether any illegal actions were committed by the owner and the administration, BNT also reported.