THE PLANNED reconstruction of the Bratislava University Library is being threatened by a tenant who refuses to move her business despite the fact her rental contract has expired.
The renovation of the Bratislava University Library, housed in three historical buildings - Klarisky Monastery on Klariská, Hungarian King Chamber's Palace on Michalská and Leopold de Paulini Palace on Ventúrska street - was supposed to begin last year and to be finished by the end of 2003.
However, Gabriela Poliaková-Jovanovičová, a tenant running the restaurant U Liszta, which is situated in the library's building on Klariská street, refuses to leave. Her contract with the state landlord, the library, expired on December 31, 2001.
The restaurant is earmarked for demolition during the reconstruction process. The library's management warned the tenant in advance that they would not renew the contract. But Poliaková-Jovanovičová started legal proceedings December 28, 2001. The library replied in the same way. Its legal proceedings were begun January 7, 2002.
Tibor Trgiňa, general director of the library, said that so far they have acted legally, but if the project's process is threatened, they would use coercive means - restrict the entrance to the building, cut water and electricity supplies.
The library hopes to solve its long-term storage problem with the reconstruction. Its inventory contains 2,400,000 books. New storage rooms are set to be built in Liszt's garden. The garden will serve as a construction yard during the first phase of the project.
The project is expected to cost up to Sk300 million ($6.25 million). While a loan secured from the Reconstruction bank of European Council covers Sk137 millions, the rest of the money will come from the state budget.