The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation released a report on 21 June 2019 about world heritage locations, upcoming projects, and their concerns and opinions regarding these future plans. The report includes the Hungarian capital as well, emphasising the situation about the futuristic MOL Tower and Liget Project in the City Park.
The report includes the efforts and plans about protecting Budapest’s world heritage sights: the coast of the Danube, City Park, Andrássy Avenue, and the Castle District of Buda – reports HVG. Although some steps forward happened, UNESCO believes that there is a severe lack of important procedures. For example, there is no one representative of the projects undertaken on these world heritage sights, and there is no complex plan about improving the Hungarian capital.
According to the report, the Hauszmann-plan – in the Castle District – includes renovations and building new objects which are dangerous and have high risks.
“It is recommended that the Committee express its concern regarding the lack of an appropriate approach for the ongoing and proposed works being undertaken as part of the Hauszmann Plan for the Buda Castle Quarter which involves substantial reconstruction and new construction of the Royal Palace and adjoining civic district and represents a specific and imminent threat. The general policy to reconstruct buildings or parts that have been destroyed during World War II or in the Communist period in order to recover an idealised older history is leading to an important and cumulative loss of authenticity of the property” (WHC Add 3, p. 6).
The report focuses on the plans of the Museum of Ethnography planned to be built in City Park. They believe that the project should be halted as soon as possible, but the project, to UNESCO’s disappointment, had not been stopped. The same concerns and points were written down about the Biodome as well.
Furthermore, the Committee believes that the plans of the MOL Tower (District 11) would also have a negative impact on Budapest’s view.
“New stricter regulations were introduced in July 2018 that require buildings higher than 65 metres to receive the planning council’s approval on the ‘architectural and technical plan documentation’. However, it is clearly stated that the permission for the MOL building cannot be reversed. A detailed study of the impact of high-rise buildings on OUV of the property is planned for District 11” (WHC Add 3, p. 6).
The report expresses the concerns about other ongoing projects in the capital, such as “reconstruction works ongoing in the property and buffer zone for which the World Heritage Centre had no previous information, including a demolition at 52 Paulay Ede Street and a renovation of the Opera house” (WHC Add 3, p. 6).
The Committee required the Hungarian state to stop the projects which would have a negative impact on world heritage sights and to work on a complex plan about how to preserve the city’s view if these buildings and objects are born in the future.
The UNESCO Committee also required a full report until February 1, 2020, from Hungary to sum up the possible solutions for their concerns.
CLICK HERE for the full report
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Source: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and National Heritage, World Heritage Committee, 21 June 2019, p. 2–8., www.hvg.hu