Culture Minister: Three historical buildings to be renovated with MNT 6 billion www.montsame.mn
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Public concerns have been raised since last year as several historical buildings located in Ulaanbaatar city might be demolished to make room for new buildings as it was revealed that the 2020 State Budget was adopted with from MNT 52 billion to MNT 94 billion budgeted for each building.
In particular, buildings of National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia, National Academic Drama Theatre, Central Library of Mongolia, Natural History Museum and Central Stadium were included in the list of buildings to be funded by the State Budget for 2020 as new construction developments with budgets as following.
National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia – MNT 54.6 billion
National Academic Drama Theatre – MNT 52 billion
Central Library of Mongolia – MNT 52.4 billion
Natural History Museum – MNT 94.4 billion
Central Stadium – MNT 80 billion.
In October 2019, Prime Minister of Mongolia U.Khurelsukh announced that the buildings of National Academic Drama Theater, National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia and Central Library of Mongolia will be demolished due to their poor condition of structure and newly built on its location, replicating its original design. This has garnered public criticism, including the Union of Mongolian Architects, who claimed that those buildings hold cultural heritage and architectural values, and demanding preservation and restoration of the buildings instead of demolition.
Concerning the prolonged public outcry, Minister of Education, Culture Science and Sports Yo.Baatarbileg today clarified during his meeting with reporters that “Buildings of National Academic Drama Theater, National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia and Central Library of Mongolia are planned to go under renovation this year with funding of MNT 2 billion from state budget for each. The official position and decision of the Ministry of Culture not to demolish them remain the same as before”.
He also said the misleading information or false claims, such as possible land grabbing, that have been spread ahead of the upcoming 2020 Parliamentary elections, are preventing the government to carry out its huge development works planned in the culture industry. “I will be working at these three organizations this week regarding their renovations, which will be completed by 2021.”
The aforementioned three buildings in Ulaanbaatar are erected between 1931 and 1951 are deemed to be an outstanding example of neoclassical architecture in Mongolia. Last year, the Mongolian Union of Architects claimed that those buildings along with the demolished natural History Museum is under state and public protection and is registered in the database of Mongolian cultural heritage.
In December 2019, a building of the Natural History Museum was demolished in spite of a widespread criticism of several months. The museum closed its doors in 2013 as it does not satisfy the functional needs and standards of museum. The government resolution was made in July 2019 to re-build the Natural History Museum near the Ikh Tenger in the Bogd Khan Mountain, an official residency of heads of state and government, and a new museum of Chinggis Khaan to be constructed on its location instead.