Saturday, 23 May 2009

The protest - a response from UNESCO

We have news that the Town has been asked by UNESCO to produce a report on the Flood prevention project, by this coming Monday.

In case it helps, here is a brief summary of just the one part of the huge project - regarding the island I so passionately blogged about:

The island was de-facto removed on Monday 18.5.

  • Despite of the post-flood petition from the riverside residents in the year 2002, asking for a clearance of debris and some small alteration to the left bank. The Town Hall now bandies this petition about as its sole reason for having commissioned the Flood prevention project. ('It was only because residents asked for it...') The petition did not ask for the removal of the corpus of the island, neither has it asked for a great number of mature trees to be felled right in the middle of the heritage site..
  • Despite of an open letter of 12.3.09 asking for the island to be retained
  • Despite of the public open letter that collected in April 09 800+ signatures over a single weekend. The open letter asked for the retention of the island.
  • Despite of a new petition of the riverside residents, of 3.4.09, which contradicts the Town Hall's press releases that the project was done at their behest, and reaffirms that they wish for the island - or at least a part of it, as compromise - to be retained.
  • Despite of the fact that the un-ecological manner of the works contravenes several EU directives for such projects
  • And despite an absence of any verifiable explanation, or officially accessible scientific or project documentation that would justify the total removal.of the island, the trees, and, indeed much other damage that is still being done in the name of this project, such as
  • concrete-structured banks at a utilitarian angle running along most of the river edge within the historic centre
  • an - as yet unexplained - iron turntable weir to replace the existing stone one under the castle
  • the 'taming' of the river course including a removal of a protected historic bridge on the river Polecnice, a tributary to Vltava - which threatens to increase its flow into the very town centre that the works are meant to protect.
The Town Hall will surely have done their homework in response to UNESCO's call. I can only hope that what they produce is not the usual whitewash: the way the protesters' requests were treated - with absence of proofs, polite sarcasm and downright ridicule - would surely not wash when Unesco asks similar questions, would it.

Meanwhile here is a link to a short video on the official Cesky Krumlov website, which shows off Krumlov's beauty; ironically, it is of the island with its trees still intact :-)
Should they not replace it with a new video showing what it looks like now???

1 comment:

MrK said...

Democracy died for me after I joined the marches against the Iraq war in London. We all now know that petitions and protests are a false freedom that means nothing. And thanks for the video - it wasn't until I saw that that it really came home to me quite how much has been lost here.