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Over CZK 11bn from EU funds may go to Czech heritage

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Prague, June 22 (CTK) – Over 11 billion crowns from European funds may go to the protection and repairs of historical sights and other cultural heritage items in the Czech Republic in the next five years, according to the Culture Ministry’s data.
The European Commission (EC) approved in early June the Integrated Regional Operational Programme (IROP) from which money for cultural heritage in the Czech Republic can be drawn in 2014-2020.
The Culture Ministry has the lists of several hundred landmarks for which the EU subsidies can be drawn.
“The negotiations of the Czech Republic with the EC in this area can be considered a great success since cultural heritage was not the priority of the EC for the programming period 2014-2020,” Culture Ministry spokeswoman Simona Cigankova said.
The Culture Ministry will serve as a guarantor for submitting projects and drawing the money, while the Regional Development Ministry will administer the subsidies from European funds since this agenda was transferred to it in 2013.
The then caretaker government of Jiri Rusnok feared that the Culture Ministry would not manage the agenda as it had considerably lagged behind schedule in drawing European subsidies.
Within the IROP, money for cultural heritage can be drawn from its sub-programme for which 9 percent from the European Regional Development Fund, which is 425 million euros (an equivalent of 11,7 billion crowns), has been earmarked, the Culture Ministry said.
The finances can be spent on the revitalisation of selected sights and an improvement to the protection and use of art collections and libraries’ stock.
The Culture Ministry has released four lists of landmarks for which the EU money can be drawn on its website.
They include the Czech UNESCO-listed sights and those seeking the UNESCO listing as well as the national cultural heritage sights and the landmarks that might receive this status in the future.
In 2007-2014, the Czech Republic had 5.7 billion crowns from European funds for some 20 projects in culture to which one billion crowns was added from the state budget.
Most of the projects have been completed.
Most recently, the Baroque Hospital in Kuks, east Bohemia, reconstructed for 450 million crowns, was opened in late March.
This week, the National Centre of Theatre and Dance will be completed in Valtice, south Moravia, situated in the UNESCO-listed Lednice-Valtice complex. It has cost 134 million crowns.
($1=24.080 crowns)

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