We are bringing you the response that was sent by the PR office of the Slovenian Ministry of Culture in response to Kooperativa’s protest letter regarding the pending eviction of Metelkova 6.
Dear Sir or Madam,
The Metelkova 6 building in Ljubljana is property of the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Slovenia. It is part of an old Yugoslavian army complex. All the other buildings that belong to the complex were already renovated and turned into state-of-the-art museums. The Metelkova 6 building is the only one left unrenovated and neglected. It is a building from the 19th century, with no substantial maintenance done. As such it is structurally unsound and dangerous for its residents as well as passers-by. The plan to renovate the building and turn it into a museum is decades old. It is true that renovations will only start in 2023, but the building is not stable or safe to inhabit. In fact the professional commission contracted by the previous government found out that heavy structural reinforcements will have to be made, to make it earthquake-proof. Pieces of roof tiles have already fallen off the building and only due to good fortune no innocent passersby were hurt. The position of the Ministry of culture (whether lead by left or right leaning ministers) has always been, that the Ministry will sooner or later use the buildings for one of its own public institutions (museums, galleries, libraries etc). It is important to note that the organizations in question are being generously financed by the taxpayers with millions of euros and have been residing in the building rent-free.
For now the ministry merely sent a proposal for an amicable termination. If an consensual agreement cannot be reached the tenants still have a full year to move elsewhere. The decision for this move was decided years ago, and this administration just followed up on the actions of the previous ones. The fact that the proposal was sent during the coronavirus crisis is merely a coincidence, which in any case is irrelevant since the NGOs are NOT being asked to move out at once. However the reality is that NGOs have always known this was a temporary solution, and the fact that they were able to stay in the building for 23 years has more to do with the fact that previous administrations never found enough funds to renovate the building and hand it over to one of its own public institutions. The building is 100% owned by the Ministry of culture. There is no legal dilemma, that it has complete holder’s rights to renovate it and give it to one of its institutions – namely the Natural history museum, which for now has no place to store its priceless collection of artifacts. In fact the last two Ministers of culture (both belonging to Social democrats, who are now part of the opposition) started official proceedings to evict NGOs to make the place for the same museum.
Služba za odnose z javnostmi
Maistrova ulica 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
T: 01 369 59 67, F: 01 369 59 01