Thursday, 11. 4. 2019

The Ministry of Culture has once again declared Prague's Kotva department store a cultural monument. The Monument Care Department of the Ministry of Culture came to the same conclusion as in the previous decision, that the Kotva meets the criteria for being declared a cultural monument. The decision will become final if no one files a petition against it, which is within about a month of the decision being issued.

The Kotva is an exceptional building dating back to the early 1970s, according to the ministry. Its authors are Vera and Vladimir Machonin. In the justification for why it has now been declared a monument, it says that the building has been preserved in an almost intact form and that the architects have handled the daunting task of planting a bulky new-build department store in the monument reserve in an original way.

By adjoining the palace Kotva, after which it was also named, it is incorporated into the surrounding buildings and on the ground floor it follows the passage of the Kotva palace, the decision states.

"Once the Kotva department store becomes legal, it will be protected twice again," said Antonin Staněk, the Minister of Culture. "Both by standing in the Prague Monument Reservation, and by granting the status of a cultural monument. I am glad that people are not indifferent to the fate of such buildings, and I will make sure that other significant structures, which thankfully are still standing, are not neglected," he added.

Among other things, the ministry is currently looking into the potential monumental preservation of the New Stage of the National Theatre or the building of the urological clinic in Prague, Karlov, i.e. also structures from the second half of the 20th century. However, the Office refused to initiate proceedings to declare another building from the post-war period, the former seat of the International Students' Union in Pařížská Street, and assessed the complaint as unfounded.

Disputes due to the new owner

Proceedings to declare the Kotva a cultural monument began in 2016, declared last autumn. But the new owner filed a decomposition against that decision, saying it had been omitted as the new owner. Since 2016, Kotva has belonged to the Prague real estate management of billionaire Václav Skala.

"In order to avoid litigation and damage to the State, the Minister revoked the prime minister's decision on precautionary grounds and referred the matter back to the first instance for reconsideration as soon as possible," the Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry's new decision was delivered to the owner's data box on April 8. However, according to the Administrative Regulations, the date of service of the decision to the authorised representative of the owner on written service is a process-defining date. The representative's letter is expected to be picked up within 14 days, followed by a legal 15-day period for filing any decomposition. If it is lodged, it will be decided again by the secondary administration, which is the Minister of Culture, after discussion in the decomposition board.