Homel: wooden buildings still dismantled despite prohibition of Ministry of Culture

2013 2013-03-14T15:30:41+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/gomel-garvykankam.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The unique wooden buildings of the 19-20th century in Volvatauskaya Street are still dismantled

The city authorities intend to construct a multi-stored house in place of a part of the old town. A part of houses with a unique carving have been dismantled already, and the destruction continues.

A number of civil organizations of Homel (BLS, "Talaka") and concerned citizens stood against the dismantlement. They filed an application to the Ministry of Culture, asking to give this houses the status of historical and cultural value. The Ministry of Culture hasn't considered this question yet. However, back at the end of 2012 it answered that the construction works at the site were to be stopped until the status of the houses would be determined. At the same time, a foundation pit was dug in place of the dismantled buildings and ads about the sale of apartments in the new house appeared in Homel.

As stated to BelaPAN by civil activist Ales Kamandzirchyk, on 13 March he walked in Volatauskaya Street and noticed that one of the unique houses, #17, had no lock on it. "When I entered the house I saw that there was no floor any more, and some bricks struck out of the walls were lying there. I think that somebody ruins the house deliberately, so that it wouldn't be given the status of a historical and cultural value," stated the activist.

The head of Homel regional branch of the Belarusian Language Society named after Frantsysk Skaryna, Yauhen Yakavenka, stated to BelaPAN that neither the prohibition of the Ministry of Culture, nor numerous complaints of civil activists and the danger of legal punishment had any influence on the building company. According to him, the activists managed to obtain a copy of the building permit, issued to the building company "Elektrapram" by the inspection of the department of control and supervision over construction works in Homel region. "The permit was issued on 17 December, after we applied to the Ministry of Culture for giving the status of cultural and historical values to the houses, and after the Ministry put a ban on the construction works there. The permit is valid until 1 March, which means that all construction works which are conducted there now are unlawful," stated Mr. Yakavenka.

BLS and "Talaka" activists filed appeals to the prosecutor's office against violation of the law by the building company, demanding to stop the construction of the multi-stored house.

Moreover, they applied to the Ministry of Culture with the proposal to give the status of a historical and cultural value to the historical district of Homel, Svistok, which includes Volatauskaya and Paryzhskai Kamuny streets.

According to Mr. Yakavenka, the ministry plans to determine the status of the wooden houses at the end of March.