Human Chain Stops Demolition of Former Tobacco Warehouse in Bulgaria's Plovdiv

Society | March 7, 2016, Monday // 13:03
Bulgaria: Human Chain Stops Demolition of Former Tobacco Warehouse in Bulgaria's Plovdiv Photo: Website of Plovdiv municipality

A human chain of around fifty people stopped the demolition of one of the buildings of the former tobacco warehouses in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv on Monday.

The demolition began on Sunday and caused a major outcry and discontent in the city, with many architects, public figures and citizens protesting it.

One of the buildings of the iconic tobacco warehouses belonging to “Orient Tobacco” was almost completely destroyed on Sunday.

It is unclear whether the demolished building is listed as a monument of culture, but the so-called “tobacco town ” complex to which it belongs has been designated as such.

Therefore, any activities should be coordinated with the National institute for immovable cultural heritage as the building belongs to an ensemble designated as monument of culture.

According to Veneta Raeva, chief expert in the institute, the demolition of the warehouse and the construction of a new building on its site is unlawful.

However the municipality issued a permit for demolition of the warehouse six years ago and renewed the permit for construction of a new building on its site in 2014.

The complex is an important part of Plovdiv's 2019 European Capital of Culture programme, with the municipality planning to turn the tobacco warehouses into the city's new art zone.

According to media reports, the site of the building, which is a private property, was planned for the construction of a ten-storey hotel.

The municipality has terminated the demolition and is inspecting the documents for construction.

The tobacco warehouses were built in the 1920s, with the buildings abandoned and left to decay in the past twenty years.

The building contains mural paintings of prominent Bulgarian painter Valchan Petrov and is believed to have inspired writer Dimitar Dimov for his novel “Tyutyun” (“Tobacco”).

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Tags: Bulgaria, Plovdiv, demolition, building, warehouse, tobacco, European Capital of Culture, culture, monument, heritage
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