Abuse of Million Levs in Museum Renovations under Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov

Museums receive visitors without Act 16. The prosecution keeps silent.

The Bulgarian Minister of Culture in the Cabinet “Oresharski” Dr. Petar Stoyanovic has sent to the prosecution evidence of abuse connected to the repair works at the National Museum of Bulgarian Fine Arts (NIMH), amounting to 976 657.66 levs without Value Added Tax (VAT). The repairs were made during the previous term in office of current Culture Minister Vezdhi Rashidov. The prosecution has remained silent on the case for a year and a half.

Bivol requested and obtained, under the Access to Public Information Act (APIA), information pertaining to unofficial copies of the audit report and the independent expert opinion on the repairs at NIMH that our site published in November 2014. The publication contained details of the established violations.

Abuse of Million Levs in Museum Renovations under Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi RashidovAbuse of Million Levs in Museum Renovations under Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov

The response of the Ministry made it clear that the audit and the expert report were official documents on which Minister Stoyanovic has written a resolution “to be sent to the prosecution.” The audit report has been sent first, on October 9, 2013, and the technical expertise has been subsequently sent on March 28, 2014.

The audit established that contracted types of construction and assembly works, worth nearly 1 million levs, have been replaced with different ones; it was also found that 94 028 levs were paid for activities without them ever been carried out.

Furthermore, the “Museum of Contemporary Art” and the “Museum of Socialist Art” are operating without the so-called “permission to use” from the State National Construction Control (SNCC). It is not clear who will bear responsibility if construction components fall on the heads of visitors because of poor repair works.

The prosecution skipped with silence the inquiry about the progress of the probe, which is already dragging on for a year and a half.

 

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