Original article (in Slovenian) was published on 28/09/2023; Author: Eva Gračanin
The agreement with the project dossier contractor for the restoration of Šrajbarski Turn, a listed castle, was concluded in November 2020, before the Freedom Movement was formed as a political party.
On 11 September, the Krško chapter of the Freedom Movement, the senior party in the ruling coalition, posted on Facebook a photo of Šrajbarski Turn, a castle in Leskovec pri Krškem, with the text saying that they managed to secure the support of the Ministry of Culture for the restoration thanks to the efforts of the party’s MP and chair of the Culture Committee, Tamara Vonta. They added that restoration teams were already at the castle and the renovation works would start a week later.
The castle has been listed as a cultural monument of national importance since 1999 and its restoration has been the subject of public debate for more than two decades. The Ministry of Culture explained that the renovation of the roof and roof structure, including the installation of a storm water drainage system, is already underway.
The first initiative for the restoration of the castle was signed at the end of 2007 by the Ministry of Economy, the Radioactive Waste Agency, and the Municipality of Krško in the form of a protocol on the financing of the restoration. The following year, a conservation plan was drawn up for the castle, but the restoration was not carried out due to lack of funding.
A decade later, in 2018, the Ministry of Culture commissioned an architectural survey and an inspection of the roof structure. The agreement with the project dossier contractor was signed in November 2020, and the building permit was obtained the following June, both under the previous government.
At its penultimate session in May 2022, the previous government included the repair and reconstruction of the roof and ceilings of Šrajbarski Turn in the Plan of Development Programmes 2022-2025, earmarking just under €967,000 for the renovation.
The detailed design, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture during the previous government’s term, was completed in November 2022.
A month earlier, Vonta had asked the minister of culture whether it was true that the ministry would publish an open call for the renovation of the roof in 2023, and what had happened to the programme and conceptual design for the revitalisation of the building, which had been sent to the ministry by the local community.
In November, Minister Asta Vrečko replied that they were not aware of the programme and conceptual design for the revitalisation of the castle but would be happy to discuss it when they receive it. She added that the ministry was aware of the poor state of the castle and had prepared, among other things, the project and investment dossier.
The same month, the ministry also commissioned a geomechanical survey for storm water drainage and a drainage project, which was finalised in March this year. In June, an open call was launched for the selection of a contractor for just over €1.12 million, and in August, an agreement was signed with the selected contractor for the repair and reconstruction of the roof and ceilings on the first floor and for the storm water drainage system.
The agreement signed by the ministry with the contractor, Lesnina MG Oprema, stipulates that the construction work will be completed within six months, during which time conservation and restoration work on the murals, the restoration of a stone coats of arms, and the painting of two clocks will be carried out under the supervision of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, over a period of approximately three months.
The Krško chapter of the Freedom Movement, when asked about the role of Ms Vonta and the Freedom Movement in securing the support of the ministry, replied that the inclusion of a project in the Plan of Development Programmes is not the same as its actual implementation and that the promises to restore the castle had remained unfulfilled until the current government’s term, when the Ministry of Culture launched an open call for the contractor.
They added that their MP and chair of the Committee on Culture, Tamara Vonta, had constantly called for the project to be prioritised and for its restoration to be carried out as soon as possible, and had warned of irreparable damage to the building if restoration did not start immediately. A follow-up Razkrinkavanje.si request for a more precise timeline for the preparation of the project remains unanswered. We will publish it when we receive it.
The claim that thanks to Tamara Vonta, the Freedom Movement has managed to secure the support of the Ministry of Culture for the restoration of Šrajbarski Turn is biased. While it is true that Vonta advocated the restoration, the claim does not present the full picture of the restoration efforts, which have been ongoing for more than two decades.