Sofia Starts Dismantling Crumbling Culture Palace Monument
The dismantling of the Monument 1300 Years of Bulgaria in front of Sofia's National Palace of Culture, NDK, started Monday.
Vladi Kalinov from the Construction Control Department of the Sofia City Hall explains that the effort is to decrease the size of the monument by one third – the very top of it will be removed, but the sculptures are to stay.
The concrete panels on the east side will be dismantled as well and the monument will be revamped to make it better looking and safer. The decision to take down part of the compostion was made precisely over safety concerns.
The overhaul of the monument will take place after public debates.
The author of the monument, sculptor, Valentin Starchev, says he has come to terms with the decision and the deplorable state of his creation.
"I have examined it very well and have analyzed what can stay and what can be taken away. The monument needs a new vision, a new way to present its idea," the sculptor explained before bTV.
According to him, the poor state of the construction can be attributed mainly to the short deadline for its assembly, set by the former Socialist regime.
Starchev sees the paneling as the biggest mistake in the construction because it had begun to crumble very quickly.
The Sofia Municipality has earmarked around BGN 70 000 for the dismantling of the monument, while the initial calculations were for a cost of BGN 90 000.
Over 1000 tons of iron will be handed to scrap purchasing depots and the money be injected into the municipal budget, according to Petar Dikov, Chief Architect of Sofia.
Apart from that, the garden in front of NDK is to undergo a thorough overhaul under a project funded under the Regional Development Operational Program.
The project will run parallel to the project for repairing the Vitosha Blvd in Sofia, which had to be completed in the summer of 2012, but the deadline was postponed.
The two overhaul projects have a price tag of BGN 5.5 M and the repair works are to start in spring.
The metro station at NDK, which is part of Sofia's second metro diameter connecting the Nadezhda residential district to the Cherni Vrah Blvd, is to start functioning in the beginning of September.
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