The Association of Architects (EAL) and the Estonian National Museum (ERM) are appealing to the government to change commercial land around the museum into state land to stop future building developments.
The museum's director Alar Karis and the president of EAL Andro Mänd said Tartu municipality sold the land to private developers without a proper analysis before construction of ERM started and no restrictions or requirements were established.
"The results are cheap developments, which have low spatial quality and don't consider the context and devalue the landscape and architectural integrity of ERM," it was written in the appeal.
Karis and Mänd highlighted that ERM is a symbolic project, in which €75 million has been invested and narrow business interests should not be prioritized.
Minister of Culture: Tartu municipality has key role in the question
Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) told ERR that Tartu has broken the previous agreement. Lukas added that the municipality should analyze if moving forward with the plan is the right step in the long run.
"During the long-term planning and further construction of the museum building, the municipality had a general plan, which provided for commercial land, social land and residential land. It was changed during the time of the previous rural municipality mayor and the current mayor has, unfortunately, let the process intensify and take the easy route," the minister explained.
He said that the municipality should open a discussion to make the surroundings of the museum into something more than just a living area. In his opinion, the buildings around the museum should benefit the public.
Detailed plans procedure for apartments is in early phase
Tartu municipality mayor, Jarno Laur (Social Democrats) told ERR four three-storey apartment buildings can be built on the land.
Laur explained in September, the developer initiated an additional detailed plan where four houses will be redesigned into three four-storey apartment buildings.
"This will reduce about a thousand square meters of building area," Laur said.
He emphasized that the project is still in its initial stage and no sketch has been completed.
Editor: Roberta Vaino