The Warsaw's old town to be excluded from the UNESCO list because of the office building?

Plac Zamkowy - Business with Heritage
Plac Zamkowy - Business with Heritage
A modern office building will soon be created 100 meters from the Sigismund's Column in Warsaw. The investment is bound to be controversial.

The Miasto Jest Nasze Association along with Ogród Warszawa would like to invite everyone to a … funeral. The creators of the Tuesday's event on a Facebook page The funeral of Warsaw's Old Town state: Today, on the 29th of October at 1 p.m. The funeral of the Warsaw's Old Town on the UNESCO Heritage List will take place. It has been with us for 33 years, after which it died tragically.


The event is a response to the construction of a modern office and services building by Senatorska St., just by Sigismond's Column and Royal Castle. The investment Plac Zamkowy – Business with Heritage is conducted by Senatorska Investment.


The controversy was aroused by the statement of Polish Committee for UNESCO. In the statement, the committee declined the information about the ongoing consultations with the UNESCO specialists which were supposed to be conducted by the investor. The new investment is supposed to be constructed in the borders of the UNESCO World Heritage site. The unique fact of reconstruction after the 2nd World War was the primary cause of putting the Warsaw's Old Town in 1980 on the World Heritage List. According to the UNESCO procedures, the only reliable and legally accepted consultations, are those conducted with the specialists from the area of applying the UNESCO Conventions in terms of protection of world heritage cultural and natural sites in the World Heritage Centre in Paris – we can read in the statement.


On the event's Facebook profile we can learn, that the entire situation may lead to the deletion of the Old Town from the UNESCO World Heritage list. The organizers of the happening emphasize the fact that such was the fate of Dresden after the creation of a bridge without the necessary consulting.


As a response to the protests, a statement has been given by Maksymilian Marcinkowski, the president of the board, representing the Senatorska Investment Board. The construction does not interfere with the land currently on the UNESCO World Heritage List, that is the axis of the Podwale and Senatorska streets. Both the tenant's house by Podwale 1 St. and the adjacent parking lot are neither on the protected area, nor on the ground in any heritage list. Nevertheless, due to the proximity, the project has been shown to the Capitol's Heritage Conservator, who informed the Senatorska Investment about the necessary consultations with institutions, such as The Social Culture Council working as a part of the office of President of Warsaw, UNESCO specialists and other local authorities.


The building will offer 9500 sqm of space, from which 4071 will be used as offices. The project includes the construction of a two storey high parking lot for 27 spots. The project has been created by Pracownia RKW Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky.


What's the reaction of the city? The Facebook protesters remind the words of Magdalena Łań from Town Hall's Press Office: In the February of 2012, the capitol's heritage conservator has given the permission for the creation of the new building by Senatorska, Miodowa and Podwale streets, along with the reconstruction of the structure at Podwale 1 St., which itself is not an antique structure. The construction of the frontage has been evaluated by an expert from the ministry of culture, who has demanded a correction of the plan. The most important change included the corner roofs. The change has been accepted and applied by the investor.    

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