A SHOPPING mall currently under construction in the proximity of the historical centre of the town of Bardejov, might cause the town to be removed from the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The Prešov Regional Monuments Board Director Eva Semanová had warned about this, as reported by the TASR newswire.

Bardejov is a small but exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a fortified medieval town that typifies the urbanisation in the local region, according to the UNESCO list. Among other remarkable features, it contains a small Jewish quarter around a fine 18th-century synagogue.

Even though the shopping mall is not being built directly within the Town Conservation Reserve, the intact historic character of the UNESCO site will be violated by the overpass, set to be connected to the second floor of the mall, TASR wrote.

The Periodic Report on State of Preservation of World Heritage Sites in Slovakia states clearly that the commercial construction will violate the unique urban structure, according to Semanová, yet Bardejov town council gave the shopping mall project a green light anyway and even bypassed the Monuments Board in the process.

Bardejov Mayor's Office head Jozef Guliga said that the shopping mall won't be located within the Town Conservation Reserve, including the historical town centre and Jewish suburbia, or any of the registered archaeological localities. Therefore, there was no need to consult the Monuments Board.

The Monuments Board has already taken all steps necessary to block the shopping mall project in the current form. However, it needs to wait for the stance of UNESCO, which might take time - the report is currently being translated and will be sent to Paris no sooner than October.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.