The Recommendation of the Hungarian National Committee of ICOMOS
Regarding the Development Proposal for Hajógyári Island in Óbuda (Budapest, Hungary)
In reference to the statement released by our organization on August 31, 2006, and regarding the fact that we consider the result of the public referendum unacceptable from a professional standpoint, we make the following recommendations for the protection of the area of ancient ruins of European significance and for their excavation and presentation in a manner befitting their significance:
The Roman era heritage on Hajógyári Island in Óbuda (this site is also considered to be an industrial heritage site of a former historic ship factory) is associated with the European section of the Roman Limes, which (as a portion of an international proposal) is included on Hungary’s tentative list for the UNESCO World Heritage. Therefore development on the island can only be approved if it is of a size and scope that does not endanger the scientific understanding, preservation and presentation of the entirety of this world renowned antique building ensemble (portions that are known and that are yet to be excavated).
ICOMOS requests that, in the interest of preserving the Hajógyári Island portion of the prospective European Limes World Heritage site, the decision makers review their verdict, retract their consent, and instead of putting the District Regulatory Plan into effect, they allow the provisions of the Hungarian Construction Law (design control regulations for conforming with the surroundings) to remain in force. This does not preclude new construction, but requires it to conform to the existing setting, of which Roman ruins may also be considered a part.
The goal of our statement is that the planned development should be conducted in such a way that unique historic assets are not destroyed due to the lack of scientific knowledge based on research results, and that the new construction projects should proceed in a manner that elevates Budapest’s status and significance in European culture by linking the capital’s ancient past with its present.
September 21, 2006