Iryna Podoliak: “Unfortunately, when considering draft laws on culture, we hear nothing more than pretentious statements”

Yesterday, the parliament adopted several important bills in the sphere of culture regulation. We are talking about the introduction of the concept of “creative economy” in the legislative field of Ukraine, about the specification of the activities of film commissions, as well as about the establishing of a special way of regulating objects listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites with the aim of putting an end to the destruction of these objects and limiting unregulated housing development in Ukrainian cities.

However, according to MP Iryna Podoliak from the Samopomich faction of the parliament, there were also a couple of contradictory bills adopted by the parliament in the first reading without their proper consideration, but rather through appealing to sentiments and the rhetoric of the “love of culture and national heritage”. First of all, she is referring to the draft law on the priority right of the state authorities and local governments to buy out the landmarks deliberately destroyed by the owners.

“The aim of the initiative is undoubtedly very noble. But in fact, the tools offer for the preservation of monuments contain a large number of corruption-related factors.

Thus, it is unclear how sanctions will be applied to those who have flats in the houses of local or national importance and who, for example, committed some destructions there or whose activities resulted in irreversible changes or losses for the landmark – they broke the walls to have doors or windows there, destroyed the facade with plastic windows or distorted it with glazed balconies.

It is also unclear how the priority buying out of the landmarks brought to destruction will take place. If a landmark is of local importance, then it a local government body that has the right to buy it out. But both city councils and regional councils are the local government bodies. How will this happen?” asks Iryna Podoliak.

The MP also draws attention to the fact that the law actually offers to pay money to those people who knowingly or irresponsibly brought the buildings to destruction.

“Undoubtedly, the goal sounds beautiful – a landmark should be taken away from an irresponsible owner by the state or local government. But what are we going to do with it then – invest in restoration or reconstruction? And if there are cities where there are more than 2 thousand such monuments? Sell them again?” underscores Iryna Podoliak.

Nevertheless, the bill was adopted in the first reading. Iryna Podoliak together with her colleagues will submit amendments to improve this bill by the second reading.

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