It is no longer there. Illegal demolition of a historic villa in Wrocław

The demolition, or more specifically the demolition of the villa, was carried out on the morning of Saturday second March. The owner did not have permission for the demolition work. The building has listed building status and is protected by law. The investor faces a hefty fine.

The police were alerted to the demolition work by residents on the morning of Saturday 2 March.

We received a report around 9am from a bystander who noticed that this villa was being demolished. Police officers went to the site, when they were already in the area it was unfortunate, but this villa was already practically completely demolished. They found two people on the spot – the excavator operator and the person who was helping him. They questioned both men. It turned outthat they were carrying out work commissioned by the owner of the building,” said Wojciech Jabłoński, Press Officer of the Wrocław City Police Commander.

The work was immediately stopped, but by the time the police arrived there was little left of the building. The villa on Kasprowicza Avenue in Karlowice in Wrocław is 120 years old. The building is listed in the municipal register of historical monuments, which means that it is legally protected, and any interference with its architectural fabric must be approved by the Provincial Conservator of Monuments. There was no consent for the demolition.

The investor had already planned to reconstruct the building, but the Provincial Conservator of Monuments did not agree to such work, considering that the extension and reconstruction would lead to a reduction in the architectural value of the structure.

The villa is located within the historic urban layout of Karlovice. In addition, it was protected by the provisions of the local development plan. The building is (was) an example of an extremely picturesque villa from the early 20th century with a characteristic combination of materials. The house was distinguished by its stone basement, rendered façade, brick detailing and parts in half-timbered construction.

It is necessary to check the formal and legal status; if the demolition was carried out as an unauthorised construction, appropriate steps will be taken, including the use of Articles 108 and 110 of the Act on the Protection and Care of Monuments (offences and crimes against monuments). The Police have been notified, and notices to the Public Prosecutor’s Office will be sent. This is an irreparable, irreversible loss to the cultural heritage of Wrocław,” adds Daniel Gibski, the Lower Silesian Regional Conservator.

On Monday, April 4, the Press Office of the City Hall of Wrocław announced that the city had notified the District Prosecutor’s Office Wrocław – Psie Pole of the possibility that a crime had been committed. In the letter, the city indicated that it had found no document to prove the legality of the demolition work. Neither the Provincial Conservator of Monuments nor the District Building Control Inspector had given his consent. Neither did the City Council of Wrocław issue a demolition permit.

Karłowice fortunately emerged almost unscathed from the terrible conflagration that struck our city in 1945. Itis all the more painful that in the 21st century someone, in the name of profit, manages to do with one excavator what totalitarianism failed to do nearly 80 years ago,” writes Jakub Mazur, Deputy Mayor of Wrocław, on Facebook.

Destroying a monument can mean a severe punishment of up to 8 years in prison. The courts may also order the reconstruction of the building and impose a financial penalty that corresponds to the value of the monument.

photos: Osiedle Karłowice Różanka Wrocław

source: Wrocław City Hall, Lower Silesian Voivodeship Monument Conservator

Read also: Wrocław | Monument | House | Archialert | whiteMAD on Instagram

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