MINISTRY OF CULTURE BANNED REPAIRS OF NATIONAL LYCEUM BUILDING
On 8 August, Ministry’s of Culture Department for Protection of History and Culture Heritage and Restoration ordered the Education Committee of Minsk administration to stop all repairs of the building, occupied by Yakub Kolas National State Humanities Lyceum.
Their examination report of the building at Kirava, 21 says unauthorized repairs are carried out without the official permission from Culture Ministry, in violation of Art 50 of the law “On protection of History and Culture Heritage”. Mikhail Tsitsenkow is prescribed to stop all works in the building, receive a written permission from the Ministry, register an obligation to protect the monument of architecture with the appropriate Department, and to sign an agreement with Larysa Panamarova, chief restoration architect, on supervision over the building.
On 8 August, Panamarova delivered the prescription to Valery Turko, head of Education Committee at Minsk city executive committee. He was warned that failure to meet the requirements would lead to responsibility under Art 94 of the law on Protection of History and Culture Heritage.
In her interview to BelaPAN Panamarova points out, that “the project of repairs, approved by a number of state bodies, must be preceded by a scientific study and engineering examination of the building and its emergency situation”. Moreover, according to Panamarova, an organization needs a special permit to carry out preproject studies and project works. “Until the project of repairs is approved, construction workers have no right to start repairs”, -- underlined Panamarova.
At the same time, Tamara Zhylich, Lyceum vice-director, informed BelaPAN, experts of Belzhylpraject institute say there is no emergency and suggest, only engineering communications systems should be repaired.
Meanwhile, lyceum students and their parents keep staying at the entrance of building, which is now inaccessible for them. The building is surrounded by police, which seems to protect the lyceum from its students. Students collect signatures of passers-by against liquidation of the lyceum. Dozens of crayons appear on the asphalt near the building every day, being a vivid evidence of the desire of students and their parents to defend their Alma Mater.
Uladzimir Kolas, one of the lyceum founders, does not exclude the possibility of transferring the lyceum abroad. In the interview to BelaPAN he pointed out, “the authorities lied when they promised to finish the repairs before the 1st of September”. He called the repair works a “shady enterprise”. According to him, the building is not in “situation of emergency”, but “in situation of occupation”. “If the authorities do not change their decision, we will teach the kids on the streets. With the help of the committee for defense of the lyceum, we will create acceptable conditions for studying and fight for return of the building and our property”, -- says Uladzimir Kolas. According to him, they do not exclude the possibility of temporary transference of the lyceum to abroad.