Πέμπτη 25.07.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Municipality moving forward with development and protection of Mon Repos

Mon Repos
18 Ιουνίου 2024 / 14:26

CORFU. Among other things, it is planned to have an entrance fee for visitors, create a refreshment stand, a souvenir sales kiosk, and an environmental education area. The project is actively supported by the ΄Friends of Corfu΄ Association.

The municipal authority is moving forward with the aesthetic and functional upgrade and utilisation of the Mon Repos estate with the aim of increasing its visitor numbers and transforming it into a significant tourist attraction for the island. To this end, the Municipal Council made a preliminary decision on Monday night for a tripartite cooperation between the Municipality, its Development Organisation, and the Ministry of Culture in this direction, while the Municipality's Legal Service has already undertaken the drafting of a Presidential Decree that will define the relationships between the cooperating parties.

The entire project is actively supported by the 'Friends of Corfu' Association, which has already funded (30,000 euros) and prepared the fire safety study that will complement the corresponding study by the Inspectorate of Antiquities. The association also intends to fully finance the preparation of a study for the restoration of the estate's paths in collaboration with municipal services, as well as the study for the layout and equipment of the reception and environmental-botanical education areas in restored buildings.

Management by KAPODIAN S.A."

For the flexible and efficient operation as well as the overall management of the 258-stremma Mon Repos estate, it is proposed to assign it to the Municipality's Development Organisation, 'KAPODIAN S.A.', given the difficulties the municipality will face in this specific area, as is also the case in other instances of managing municipal spaces and facilities.

Resources from OHE

Mayor Stefanos Poulimenos stated that, for the implementation of the Mon Repos utilisation plan, an amount of 1 million euros has already been included in the updated Integrated Territorial Investment (OHE) – Sustainable Urban Development plan. At the same time, the municipal committee has approved the acceptance of a design study offer from the 'Friends of Corfu' Association, which is working on a broader aesthetic and functional upgrade and utilisation of the estate, for which the company 'GILLASPIES' has drawn up a series of proposals costing 100,000 euros.

Entrance ticket

Mr. Poulimenos said that, for the maintenance of the estate and its facilities, it is planned to have an entrance ticket, possibly in conjunction with the Inspectorate of Antiquities, which already collects a fee for visiting the Museum of the Summer Palace. According to him, the collected resources can also be increased through the operation of a refreshment stand and the sale of souvenirs and publications.

He clarified, however, that the entrance ticket will be for visitors, not for Corfu residents. Nevertheless, the head of the main opposition party, Meropi Ydraiou, raised the issue of unconstitutionality, to which Mr. Poulimenos responded that the same applies to the Old Fortress, where locals also do not pay an entrance fee.

 

Municipal Responsibilities

Mr. Poulimenos also presented the areas where the Municipality has a duty to intervene within the scope of its responsibilities. These include:

  • The restoration of the perforated fence-perimeter wall and its effective security
  • The restoration of the walking paths and the lighting network
  • The improvement of access and the development of the beach at Kardaki, including the restoration of the jetty
  • The construction of the fire safety network and ensuring its functionality
  • The creation of a refreshment stand that is in harmony with the natural environment for visitor convenience
  • The creation of an information and souvenir kiosk
  • The development of an outdoor sports area
  • The reconstruction of the outdoor theatre "Rena Vlachopoulou"
  • The layout and equipping of reception and environmental-botanical education spaces
  • The redesign of the utilisation of the Mon Repos baths
  • The continuous care of the park and maintenance of the estate's buildings

 

Two Parking Areas for Cars and Buses

He also said that, in collaboration with the Inspectorate of Antiquities, the development of adjacent areas into parking spaces for cars and buses is planned. These are the areas highlighted by Enimerosi in a previous report published on 17-05-2024.

The development of the plot opposite the estate's gate is planned, as well as the allocation and development of a part of the municipal property Vassilaki as a second parking area.

 

Presidential Decree

Justifying the entire plan, Mr. Poulimenos pointed out that such a unique place cannot remain in its current state without basic services for visitors and that the Municipality must cease to be a passive observer and act substantially and decisively in the manner in which similar natural and cultural spaces are utilised worldwide.

He also stated that although the law recognising the Municipality of Corfu as the owner of the Mon Repos estate provided that a Presidential Decree would regulate the status governing its operation, since then, the Ministry of Culture has been exercising its responsibilities in the areas under its jurisdiction in a fragmented manner, while the Municipality had only a minimal presence, except for the construction of the "Rena Vlachopoulou" theatre and the restoration of the three buildings.

He said that the relationships among the three cooperating parties in the operation and management of the Mon Repos estate will be defined by a Presidential Decree, following the opinion of the Municipal Council, in accordance with Article 4 of Law 2215/1994. The draft Decree being prepared by the Municipality's Legal Service will be brought for discussion at an upcoming Council meeting, while its issuance will be carried out upon the recommendation of the Ministers of Finance, Interior, and Culture.

Opposition parties

However, objections from the opposition were not absent, with Giorgos Karydis arguing that the path towards privatising the facility is being opened, while Mr. Poulimenos categorically denied this, stressing that there is no evidence to support such claims. On her part, Ms. Ydraiou said that the amount of 1 million euros allocated in the updated Integrated Spatial Investment Plan - Sustainable Urban Development is insufficient even for the studies related to the aforementioned projects.

Passed by Majority Vote

The proposal to authorise the Mayor and the responsible Deputy Mayors to undertake necessary preparatory actions for expediting the issuance of a decision-opinion by the Municipal Council (which will determine the terms of maintenance and operation of the Mon Repos property) was approved by a majority vote. The Lasy LASU party opposed the proposal, while Giorgos Karydis abstained from voting.

 

 

MARIA BAZDRIYIANNI

Photos: Enimerosi