Budapest, June 8 (MTI) – The capital should seek an expert opinion from UNESCO on the planned Liget Project, a scheme involving the construction of a museum quarter in Budapest’s City Park, the mayor of Budapest’s 14th district said on Wednesday. More than 300 million forints (EUR 1m) will be spent this year on developing green areas in Budapest, the City Assembly decided at its session on Wednesday.
Gergely Karácsony told a press conference ahead of a meeting of the municipal assembly that the project warrants consultation with UNESCO because the City Park is located in a world heritage site.
If Budapest fails to consult the cultural heritage body before approving the project, the resolution could be considered legally invalid, Karácsony, co-leader of the opposition Dialogue for Hungary party, said.
He said municipal leaders had so far ignored both professional and civil protests over the project and are now set to pass a resolution that will make way for the “destruction” of the City Park.
Earlier on Wednesday, civil activist group Ligetvédők said municipal leaders plan to chop down more than 2,000 trees in the near future. Gergely Csák, one of the activists, said the tree-felling would lead to an environmental disaster.
Silent protests were held at the city assembly against plans to cut down 600-800 trees in the City Park to make way for the state-backed museum quarter. Another mass tree-felling is planned at the Roma banks of the River Danube affecting 1,100 trees while in the Orczy Park in Pest plans are to fell 300.
Budapest to spend over EUR 1m on green areas this year
Fully 200 million forints will be spent on upgrading a playing field area on Gellért Hill, while 15 million will be ploughed into a similar project at Feneketlen Lake on the Buda side.
Other projects include revamping a public park at Krúdy Gyula street on the Pest side and Jozsef Street in the central 8th district, as well as areas around József Attila Theatre in the 13th district and the Népliget Park in the outer 10th district.
The proposal was approved with 23 votes in favour and 4 abstentions.