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Castle work starts

THE CULTURE Ministry and the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR) have come up with a plan that will put some unemployed people back to work and at the same time help preserve some of Slovakia’s rich cultural history. Since June, twenty unemployed people from the Bánovce nad Bebravou district have been at work helping in the reconstruction of Uhrovec Castle in central Slovakia.

New hands set to work at Uhrovec Castle. (Source: TASR)

THE CULTURE Ministry and the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (ÚPSVaR) have come up with a plan that will put some unemployed people back to work and at the same time help preserve some of Slovakia’s rich cultural history. Since June, twenty unemployed people from the Bánovce nad Bebravou district have been at work helping in the reconstruction of Uhrovec Castle in central Slovakia.

“This work is attractive and interesting and we expect young people and those receiving unemployment assistance to get involved,” Slávka Súlovská, the head of ÚPSVaR in nearby Partizánske, told the TASR newswire.

When selecting the workers, ÚPSVaR in Partizánske worked hand-in-hand with local municipalities. “We looked for enthusiastic workers who had volunteered earlier for this project in their own free time, as well as the long-term unemployed,” Súlovská explained.

“Uhrovec Castle lies in the vicinity of Uhrovské Podhradie, a village with only 37 residents, yet we received six job applicants from there,” Súlovská said. At the end of March, the Bánovce nad Bebravou district counted 2,009 residents as unemployed, representing an unemployment rate of 9.35 percent.

The Culture Ministry is supervising the reconstruction of the castle in cooperation with conservationists, according to Súlovská. The project, which will last for six months, is financed by two grants. The first, from the Culture Ministry, amounts to €47,000 and is meant for construction activities while the second grant, for €61,000, comes from ÚPSVaR and is used to pay salaries, which according to Súlovská, are more than the minimum wage.

The ruins of Uhrovec Castle stand at 591 metres above sea level, on a ridge in the Nitrické Vrchy hills, close to the municipality of Uhrovské Podhradie. The late-Romanesque castle was probably built between 1251 and 1293 and has fallen into extreme disrepair through the years. Šariš Castle in eastern Slovakia is also being reconstructed under the same programme, and 10-15 more castles should be added next year.


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