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UNESCO concerned over planned Warsaw Old Town construction project

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 30.10.2013 10:13
UNESCO has become involved in a dispute over the planned construction of a new office building opposite the historic Royal Castle in Warsaw, which could endanger the area's listed status.

Castle Square, Warsaw. Photo: wikipedia

The investment would involve the partial demolition of a building on the southern fringe of the Old Town.

“The construction project for the office building on the very border of the Old Town, which is listed by UNESCO, has not been approved by the World Heritage Centre in Paris,” said Professor Andrzej Rottermund, head of Poland's UNESCO committee.

The professor, who is director of the Royal Castle Museum, has said the centre expects to be consulted on the matter.

“We have already reported this to the General Conservator of Monuments a few days ago,” he revealed.

Rottermund noted that in Germany, Dresden's reconstructed Old Town had its UNESCO status revoked after a new bridge was built over the River Elbe.

“I also know that Poland had problems last year with the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw. The World Heritage Centre in Paris intervened because it felt that the scope of work that was carried out there was not approved by the centre.”

Warsaw's city hall has told the TVN television station that consultations with the World Heritage Centre were not necessary, as technically the plot concerned at the southern end of Podwale Street is not within the area delineated by UNESCO in 1980.

Warsaw Monuments Conservator Piotr Brabander has taken the same line of defence, but said that his predecessor had handled the matter. (nh/pg)

tags: UNESCO, Warsaw
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