Minister Refuses Tallinn's Plea for Sale of Historic Building

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Tallinn planned to sell its city council building at Vana-Viru 12. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Ministry of the Environment barred Tallinn City Government from selling a building in Old Town's Town Hall Square.

The City of Tallinn said it would use the proceeds from selling three Old Town buildings to pay for a new square on the waterfront by the Linnahall convention center, reported Eesti Päevaleht.

After consulting with the National Heritage Board, however, Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus rejected the sale of one of the buildings. The Reform Party has suspected that Tallinn needs the revenue not so much for the building of the new town hall, but to cover current expenses.

The National Heritage Board has also voiced concern over the sale of the buildings to private owners because of their historical value.

In 2009, the Danish architecture bureau Bjarke IngelsGroup won the design contest for the planned new town hall. The design was applauded in an international architecture contest earlier this year. Construction of the hall, which would house the city government and most of the city's agencies, has been delayed for years.


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