Budapest, November 25 (MTI) – The government will move the interior and the economy ministries from central Pest to the Castle District on the Buda side, the official Hungarian Gazette reported.

Addressing a meeting of parliament’s cultural committee on Wednesday, government office chief Janos Lazar said the interior ministry would be located on two adjacent buildings in Orszaghaz and Uri streets, while the economy ministry will occupy a building near Matthias Church. Lazar said the Castle District had originally been built for housing the state’s executive centre and it is “logical” that this is where government offices should be moved to.

Under plans flagged earlier, the National Szechenyi Library, now located in the Castle, will be moved to the building once occupied by the Hungarian Radio behind the National Museum, but no decision has been taken on this matter. The location of the new Csontvary Museum is also yet to be decided, Lazar said.

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The government has instructed the economy minister to make preparations for selling or utilising the buildings to be vacated on the Pest side. A tender for plans for housing the national library would be called in a value of 30-40 billion forints, he said.

State Secretary Laszlo L Simon presented the committee with three further reconstruction plans: the National Hauszmann Plan will target the reconstruction of the Buda Castle, while the National Chateaus Programme and the National Castles Programme will focus on the reconstruction of other heritage buildings. L Simon added that programmes would also be designed for preserving folk architecture and a new law has been passed on handling world heritage sites.

Istvan Hiller (Socialist) said it would be “crazy to oppose the reconstruction of the Buda Castle”, yet it is not right that it should be turned into government headquarters. The Interior Ministry will “sweat blood” at the location it has been assigned, he insisted.

In response to this and other questions, Lazar said garden reconstruction were important, including the garden of the National Museum. On the subject of the Budapest Liget project he said this had to be coordinated with plans to refurbish Nyugati railway station and its environs. He said it was difficult to find European Union financing possibilities in the area of culture and sometimes the European Commission had “surreal expectations”. He added that in the long run it is not the best solution that the Hungarian state should be the largest sponsor for culture and this is why the independent Hungarian Artists’ Academy (MMA) has been set up to help oversee funding in this sector.

The new location of economy ministry – Szentháromság square 6.


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