An open-air museum? – Olomouc daily

The ombudsman deals not only with the initiatives that come to him from citizens (and that there are not a few of them: for the whole of last year, almost 8,000, but this year already almost 15,000…), but also reacts to events that he learns about from public sources. It often concerns the protection of monuments and construction activities in cities and towns in general.

Stanislav Kreček
is a public defender of human rights

In Brno, the demolition of a neo-Renaissance villa in Hlinky Street aroused strong reactions from the professional and lay public, and that is why I started an investigation into this matter. At the same time, we are submitting a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court in the matter of the giant construction Šantovka Tower in Olomouc. Both affairs are accompanied by strange circumstances.

Ombudsman hysteria

Proceedings to declare the Brno villa a historic monument were started in 2020, but in three years the Ministry of Culture was unable to make a decision on the matter. In the meantime, without any reaction from the building authority (the owners of the building were warned by the ministry that they must protect the building until the final decision), the Neo-Renaissance porch, the rich Neo-Renaissance facade and the roof disappeared from the villa. When finally, the day before this year’s Good Friday, the ministry declared the villa a cultural monument, the building’s owner notified the building authority on Good Friday that the building was in such a state of disrepair that it threatened the surroundings. During Easter, the entire building was demolished. This is how we lose monuments in the Czech Republic…

Source: DiaryAs for the Šantovka skyscraper, it is a different problem. With a lawsuit in the public interest (which the ombudsman can file if he believes that the public interest is seriously threatened), I demanded the cancellation of the zoning decision on the location of the Šantovka Tower building issued by the Olomouc municipality at the Olomouc branch of the Ostrava Regional Court. In my opinion, the location of a high-rise building in the neighborhood of a city conservation area violates several public interests at the same time. In addition to the interest in the protection of the Olomouc Municipal Heritage Reserve and the preservation of the values ​​of the territory of the city of Olomouc, it is also a public interest in the protection of the environment.

And last but not least, the public interest in impartial decision-making by the state administration body. In the past, the city concluded a cooperation agreement with the investor of the construction and thus had, in my opinion, a significant economic interest in the construction, which stemmed from a realistically imminent demand for compensation from the investor, if his billion-dollar investment did not materialize in the end.

Ombudsman for human rights Stanislav Křeček

The boss

However, the regional court did not deal with the claim substantively and rejected it as inadmissible. According to the court, the ombudsman, as a plaintiff, did not demonstrate the so-called serious public interest and was therefore not entitled to file a lawsuit at all. I definitely don’t agree with that and that’s why the complaint.

But we certainly do not want our villages to turn into open-air museums, where old ones cannot disappear and new ones arise. We know that even about the “Eiffelov”, many claimed that it would make Paris ugly. But we want the public interest to be assessed impartially, in the interest and benefit of the community, and not only in the interest and benefit of individuals…

The opinions published here bring different views of publicists and personalities, but do not express the position of the Journal.

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