Before you jump to any conclusions, no, UNESCO have not gone and given cultural heritage status to a supermarket, but recently what has happened in the Dalmatian city of Split recently is the vice-versa – a supermarket has gone and plonked itself inside a UNESCO protected monument…
Around two weeks ago, in the centre of Split on the ground floor of the historical and architectural complex of Mala Papalićeva palača, retail supermarket chain Billa have opened up a store, much to the shock of a number of locals. The space is in private ownership, and the town administration say their hands are tied.
“The city, unfortunately, has no influence in the use of space. The only possible instrument would be the PUP historic core (which has expired), but even PUP does not distinguish between different types of stores. The Conservation Department could (and should) influence the intent, so that during registration of the building it is deemed a single cultural property, which would need their approval for any change in conditions. All this, unfortunately, is covered very poorly by laws and regulations,” Goran Nikšić, Head of Split’s Old Town, told Tportal.
In 1979, the historic center of Split was included into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites with the Gothic Mala Papalićeva palača designed in the 15 century by Juraj Dalmatinac for one of the richest families in Split. The complex today is home to the town museum and its collections of stones, old weapons, and statues and paintings of the city. (photo – courtesy of Tportal)