Historical Sites in Bulgaria's Old Capital on Brink of Collapsing

Tourism | June 14, 2011, Tuesday // 14:19|  views

The beautiful, historical Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo - view from the Tsarevets Hill. Photo by Sofia Photo agency

The central Bulgaria city of Veliko Tarnovo, known as the country's historical old capital, still has a hard time solving the issue with crumbling buildings.

The report was aired Tuesday by the Bulgarian TV channel bTV, informing most of these buildings are listed as historical and cultural heritage sites, but the law ties the hands of the City Hall despite the fact local experts study the experience of their French colleagues for five years now.

Century-old buildings, which are under the threat of collapsing, are located all over the city with hundreds of tourists passing nearby daily, the report points out.

The problem stems from the fact that there are funds only for municipal historical sites while the responsibility for private properties lays on owners, who, in most cases, have no money for repairs.

"Each year, the City Hall issues about 20 demolition orders, but under the law it cannot undertake anything without the consent of the owner," Donka Koleva, Chief Architect of Veliko Tarnovo, is quoted saying.

French cultural heritage experts are further cited explaining that in France the local mayor has the authority to make a decision to demolish dangerous buildings without waiting for permission on State level.

The French government finances anywhere between 20% and 80% of restoration expenses of private properties' owners while in Bulgaria this percentage is 0 and the authorities are further thinking of imposing a fine of BGN 15 000 to those who fail to maintain sites that are declared cultural and historical heritage.

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Tags: historical, buildings, Cultural, heritage, sites, old capital, collapse, demolition, Veliko Tarnovo, City Hall, France, French, experts, dangerous, buildings


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