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Conservationists to oppose giant wheel project in Prague

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Prague, July 20 (CTK) – The Prague heritage experts will not issue a positive stance on the planned construction of a 60-metre-high giant wheel on the left embankment of the Vltava (Moldau) River close to the historical centre, heritage protection section head Jiri Skalicky told CTK yesterday.
Its permit is a necessary condition for such a project in the UNESCO-listed urban conservation area. However, the section has not received the respective application for a binding stance yet, Skalicky added.
The Prague 5 administrative district wants to sign a contract with an investor on the construction of the giant wheel on the embankment, which should attract tourists to the locality, in a few days.
Along with heritage experts, the project is opposed by some local inhabitant, the Prague 5 opposition assembly members and the City Hall management.
“In the case of a 60-metre giant wheel that would be higher than surrounding buildings in the locality and harm the view of the urban conservation area, our stance will not be positive,” Skalicky told CTK.
Some time ago, Prague 5 put up a tender for the use of the Horejsi embankment for which only one company, Timsbury Capital, bid.
It estimates the investment in the giant wheel at some 200 million crowns and it would like to gain all necessary permits by the end of next year. The wheel should be built in 18 months, Prague 5 deputy mayor Martin Slaby told reporters on Tuesday.
The firm would start paying a lease of 56,500 crowns a month as of January, he added.
Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) has criticised the plan, saying she considers a giant wheel in Prague useless. The city has other attractions to offer to tourists, she added.
Some local inhabitants in Prague 5 expressed fears that the construction of the wheel would threaten a playground they used in the locality.
($1=24.488 crowns)

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