Conservators Worried About the Status of Split as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Total Croatia News

Is commercial Split break conservation guidelines and putting its UNESCO status at risk? 

The City of Split is setting up stands, kiosks, information points and similar establishments in the historical centre of the city without the approval of conservators, and the City Regulations on Public Order do not include any conservation guidelines. The fact that the relations between the city authorities and conservators regarding the issue of increasing commercialization of public spaces are not particularly warm is evident from a letter which the chief conservator dr. Radoslav Bužančić sent to deputy mayor Goran Kovačević and other city officials, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on October 5, 2015.

“We express our concern due to serious problems related to the use of public spaces for the purpose of commercial activities, setting up street furniture and temporary installations, the use of the market space and the exterior of buildings in protected areas of the cultural and historical complex of the city, which demonstrates the necessity of introducing certain changes to the City Regulations on Public Order”, wrote Bužančić.

The guidelines from 2011, which Bužančić believes should be implemented without delay, do not allow any commercial activity in certain parts of the old town, each change in usage must be approved by conservators, while the requirements for stands and kiosks are strictly defined.

For the last four years, the City Hall has been giving approvals for stands and kiosks without consultation with conservators. At its latest session, the City Council was left without a quorum at a moment when some councilors once again tried to modify the location plan for kiosks and information points, which would put 28 new kiosks on the waterfront and at Matejuška, Đardin, Trumbićeva Obala and in front of the Croatian National Theatre building.

As noted in the Bužančić’s letter, the city authorities have not even considered the conservation guidelines dating from 2011, and they have not been included in the City Regulations on Public Order. The City Hall would instead like to establish a commission that would include conservators, but Bužančić rejects this idea.

“We reiterate that the establishment of such commission is not necessary, especially because one previous similar commission established by the City of Split has not produced any results, nor has it given a positive contribution to the protection and development of the city. On the contrary, it has jeopardized the status of Split on the UNESCO World Heritage List”, claims the chief conservator.


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