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Culture Minister: Extensive clean-up and fire safety measures at Mon Repos in June

Mon Repos
05 May 2023 / 09:58

CORFU. Regarding the open-air ΄Rena Vlachopoulou΄ theatre, the Minister said, "The current state of the theatre is unacceptable."

The entire range of cultural issues in Corfu were looked at yesterday, two weeks before the elections on May 21st, with the visit of the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, heading a delegation consisting of General Secretary for Forestry, Kostas Aravosis; General Secretary for Culture, Giorgos Didaskalos and representatives from the Civil Protection and Environment Ministries.

The programme included a visit to Mon Repos, a meeting with Central Corfu Mayor Meropi Ydraiou at the San Giacomo Old Town Hall and a meeting at the Ionian Islands Regional Administration.

During the morning visit to Mon Repos in the rain, government officials were briefed on the progress of the work on the auxiliary buildings of the villa, which are nearing completion after four years. The delegation was accompanied by Antiquities Inspectorate Director, Tenia Rigakou; Central Corfu Mayor, Meropi Ydraiou; Deputy Mayor for Technical Works, Nikos Kalogeros and ND MP candidate, Stefanos Gikas.

Clean-up and fire safety at Mon Repos

Lina Mendoni conveyed the Ministry of Environment's estimation that by June, the contractor for the large project of the extensive cleaning of the Mon Repo estate, which covers an area of 240 stremma, will be installed. It is part of the "Antinero" programme, which has been developed in collaboration with the Ministries of Civil Protection, Environment and Culture, and includes top archaeological and tourist sites of interest.

In this context, with the necessary plant technical study, work will be done to remove old vegetation, establish fire protection, install a pipeline system from DEYAK for the placement of firefighting hydrants on central paths, as well as an evacuation plan in case of emergency with appropriate signage.

Current state of theatre "unacceptable"

Asked about the Mon Repos theatre, the Minister of Culture commented that "the current state of the theatre is unacceptable, not only for the theatre but also aesthetically." She said that it is important for fire safety reasons to remove the old constructions that are combustible. Next week, the issue of approving the location of a new theatre will be discussed at the Central Archaeological Council and the municipality has almost completed the architectural study, which will also be presented at a later stage to the same Council.

At the Old Town Hall, major issues of the old town and the fortresses were discussed. "Regarding the management plan for the Fortresses, I asked for a prioritisation of the projects included in it by May 15th, so that the procedures for the next projects can mature simultaneously with the projects that are starting in the Recovery Fund," said the Minister of Culture.

The Local Spatial Plans were also discussed, which are in the contracting phase and are expected to provide a solution to major issues of spatial planning, land use, and building coefficients. The progress of ESPA projects, such as the Phoenix Theatre, the Municipal Theatre and the historic San Giacomo Old Town Hall, was also discussed.

Cultural Tax

The Minister of Culture is supportive of the Municipality's and other organisations' request for the establishment of a Cultural Tax, which will create a "pool" of funds for the financing of cultural associations or other projects. According to Meropi Ydraiou, the matter has already been discussed since 2019 and its implementation remains pending with the establishment of the necessary legal framework, using examples from other municipalities abroad.