April 25, 2020 — A proposed fishmarket in Dubrovnik’s Old Town stalled after leaked 3D renderings of the pointy structure caused a stir among locals with functioning eyes. Conservationists and the Ministry of Culture approved the prefabricated building’s placement inside the old town’s port in a closed-doors setting, then backpedaled after a growing chorus of angry locals forced politicians to stop supporting the project.
“The city should be preserved,” Marin Krstulovic, president of the City District, reportedly said. “We are working on a management plan, and at the same time with one stroke of a pen we will turn it, as our neighbors would say, into a fair.”
The outcry grew until Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković finally joined the chorus of people demanding the project be stopped.
Conservators and the Ministry of Culture accepted the plan on Dec. 23, 2019. Part of the pre-assembled facility would be used by border police and customs. The County Port Authority commissioned the project and paid it HRK60,000.
“The project was presented to the Ministry of Culture, Assistant Minister, and presented by the designer and the Conservation Department in Dubrovnik,” Zeljko Dadić, director of the Dubrovnik County Port Authority, told Dnevnik Nova TV. “It then, in accordance with their guidelines, went on to approval and construction.”
The city and the county have called for a halt to the project, arguing that the public must agree. After that, the Ministry became involved.
The ministry and conservators sent a Morski.hr a statement stating a subsequent audit found the design solution deviates from the system of protection measures for the cultural and historical urban unit of the city of Dubrovnik. Also, they wrote that in cooperation with the City and the County, the Ministry decided to further stop the implementation of this project.
The private investor, who is a concessionaire of the area and uses it as the terrace for a hospitality business, says he has already invested more than one million kunas in the project and is preparing a lawsuit.
“We have information that someone stopped the project, but as an investor, we have not received anything yet,” said the investor Maro Hajdarhodzic. “I am a legalist, if I worked and started investing in legal documents, now I am waiting for a legal document that supposedly invalidates everything.”
The architect from the architect’s office says the Ministry’s decision stunned her because the civil service had enough time in a year and two months to carry out the revisions it cites in its decision.
“My amazement is the fact that the reason is the deviation from the protection measures,” said Jelica Pekovic from the architect’s office.
None involved wanted to suggest that, perhaps, aesthetics, the obscure approval process and the general public rancor around the building did it in.