Sofia University with Symbolic Closure over Botanical Garden RightsEducation | April 4, 2011, Monday // 14:58| views
Bathing in sunlight most of the year, the botanical garden is home to more than 2000 plant species belonging to 85 families and 200 genera. Photo by BGNES
Bulgaria's oldest university "St. Kliment Ohridski" in the capital Sofia symbolically closed doors Monday in sign of protest over ownership rights of the Botanical Garden in the coastal town of Balchik.
The symbolic closure replaces the original plan to effectively shut the school until the dispute is resolved. Classes and college entrance exams are being held despite the chains on the main entrance.
The building is to reopen Thursday, after the cabinet makes its expected decision one day earlier to reinstate the University's rights on the garden and to have it managed jointly with the Culture Ministry.
"The talks and the negotiations were serious, but we achieved the desired result, and we do not expect any other decision of the Council of Ministers, but the one in favor of the University, which created and managed the Botanical Garden in the last 55 years," Maria Shishniova, "St. Kliment Ohridski" Deputy President for Education is quoted saying.
The crisis was tamed after the interference of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and last week's two-hour talks between the Ministries of Education and Culture, reaching the agreement to propose new texts about the property's ownership.
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