APRIL 14 2012 00:05h
The renovation of the whole Novi Dvori complex, Ban Jelacic Estate, lasted for 6 years and cost more than 8 mil HRK. But it seems that was not enough for the City Council of Zapresic to articulate their intentions regarding this historical and cultural monument which is on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.
The things have really gone too far. There haven’t been many changes on the former estate of the most famous Croatian ban, more than 20 acres of space, except the opening of a golf course. That’s why the Ministry of Culture is not satisfied with the city administration of Zapresic led by Zeljko Turk (HDZ). They are in charge of renovation of this estate.
The program hasn’t been continued because there is no decision about final purpose of the castle and other objects which are the part of the complex. The owner of the whole estate is the city of Zapresic. The management of the whole project was not effective and it caused the failure. This has been the problem in other similar examples. The people from the Ministry of culture were really harsh in their objections about the management of this beautiful historical site. The city opposition was also very strict in their comments.
- The doors and the windows of Novi Dvori were damaged by burglars. There are cars driving through the park – Denis Begic, the president of Zapresic SDP warns the public.
Plastic doors and windows
However, there are thing that have changed regarding Novi Dvori. The city administration claims that they have built a golf practice area in the golf course. By doing this they have opened new possibilities for the new contents.
One person who likes playing golf in this golf course is also the Mayor of ZapresicZeljko Turk. He is the most important person for the development of golf in his city. Maybe the green golf course was the place where they got the idea how to save money for renovation. So instead of giving the place the chance to become a real tourist attraction, someone suggested to build in plastic doors and windows into the castle.
-During the renovation works there were demands to build in plastic doors and windows. However, the conditions from the department in charge were very strict, so they put the wooden doors and windows which were made according to the original – the people from the Ministry confirmed.
Although some similar sites, such as the Old City of Varazdin, use the resources from the EU very successfully and build the tourist attraction at the place of historical importance, the administration from Zapresic is obviously not motivated enough or maybe not prepared. The local SDP says that they only get refused from EU addresses.
The services of the City of Zapresic should have prepared the project very carefully and they should have applied for financing from EU funds. They should have looked up to castle Eltz from Vukovar, the Old City of Varazdin or the castle Erdȍdy in Jastrebarsko. Instead of that, the project hadn’t been accepted and the works had been stopped. There is even no exclusive golf course that they had promised to build in pre-election period, as the president of Zapresic SDP pointed out.
And while the renovation is still not over, the quality of works has been proved by the damaged and fallen façade on the main building of the castle. The responsibility goes to the firm Graditelj by a local HDZ member which was chosen as the most favorable one in the competition, as the opposition of Zapresic claims.
As there is still no punishment for using the money of tax payers in such a way, we can expect that the historical monument will remain empty and useless although the millions have been spent on its renovation.