Although it is an example of early industrial architecture in the region and is under preventive protection of the Ministry of Culture, the former sardine factory in Vrboska on Hvar Island, built in 1894, literally began to fold in on itself seven years ago
The then district chief Ivo Milatić, now state secretary for energy, used to protest energetically over the general behaviour with valuable property in the centre of a well-known Hvar destination, emphasising that in any case it wouldn’t be good for the factory, but also some other buildings literally falling apart to be an anti-propaganda for tourism, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on January 12, 2018.
Of course, Slobodna reported in 2010 on the state of the attractive factory, but nothing changed since then, the historic complex is almost at ground level. The day will come when the giant chimney will also meet the ground. The early industrial architecture specimen is almost gone, and tourism has suffered enormous battering.
Guests simply marvel at the fact that this monument to life and economy on the island had to end like this, curiosity pushed some to peek inside and it is lucky none of them were injured. All of this was more than enough for the locals to lose their temper, wondering when will it all end.
“Jelsa District is monitoring the situation with the former fish factory, we are also in constant contact with the owner in Italy, including Dražen Colnago, an architect from Split. The Italian was recently here and claimed he has procured a location permit, including the necessary approval from conservationists for the reconstruction of the building in which he plans to build 25 apartments. We’ve seen the project, the factory will mostly retain its former vista, it all look great, so we are also happy the centre of Vrboska will see better days,” said Nikša Peronja, Chief of the Jelsa District.
However, people from Little Venice, as Vrboska is referred to, want to know when construction will begin, and the chief answers the investors wishes for the project to be realized as soon as possible. He is aware of the condition of the factory, and as such is unwanted from a security standpoint. He is currently looking to obtain a loan, and if he does not manage it, there is always the option to sell the property.
The factory stopped operating in 1972, was handed over to the Vrboska agricultural cooperative, and was later incorporated into the Vrboska hotel company. For a while the building housed the woodworking shop and was later sold. The architect hired for the project described the renovation project:
“We can confirm we created project documentation regarding the reconstruction and renovation of the factory in Vrboska. Based on it, a location permit was procured, but the owner later decided to give up on obtaining the main project permit. This is all I know, as my role as chief designer was to obtain all necessary permits for construction. Since I am not a legal or business consultant, especially not a representative of the owner, I am not aware of their business plans,” answered architect Dražen Colnago.
Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija.