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Historic cultural centre faces wrecking ball

THE CITY of Bratislava has removed legal barriers that have been protecting the historic Park of Culture and Recreation (PKO) building from destruction, say advocacy groups.

THE CITY of Bratislava has removed legal barriers that have been protecting the historic Park of Culture and Recreation (PKO) building from destruction, say advocacy groups.

In January, Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský, along with some of the members of the City Council, cancelled three resolutions relating to the PKO. According to Bratislava Otvorene (BAO), an advocacy group focused on development and the environment in Bratislava, by doing so the city administrators have taken another step towards the demolition of this example of communist-era architecture. A petition entitled For the Preservation of the PKO has recently been launched and over 12,000 signatures have already been collected. A number of VIPs from Slovakia’s public and cultural spheres, including Martin Bútora, former ambassador to the US, and jazz musician Peter Lipa, have argued that the building is one of the 300 most outstanding examples of modern Slovak architecture.

A few years ago, representatives of the City of Bratislava and Bratislava Old Town sold the property that the building is on, thus paving the way for its destruction. A new centre for cultural activities and recreation was planned in its place. The preservationists have requested that the PKO’s value be evaluated according to standard professional criteria and without regard for any ideological links. They have said that the building should be listed as a protected historical monument and preserved for future generations. “We made an architectural survey of 3,000 post-war Slovak buildings and the PKO was given a B rating, which is a strong position,” Henrieta Moravčíková of the Slovak Academy of Sciences told the TASR newswire.

The City Committee of the Slovak Union for the Protection of Nature and Landscape has repeatedly asked the Conservation Office to list the PKO as a national cultural monument since the building was ranked as architecturally valuable two years ago.


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