Additional high-rises in Pankrác could threaten Prague's place on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
So now, at last, it's been finalised. After nine years of debate, the final Czech authority ― the Culture Ministry ― has said new skyscrapers in Pankrác can tower over Prague.
Opponents of the buildings are now relying mainly on UNESCO, which has criticised the project and reportedly might delete Prague from its list of world heritage sites. The particular arguments on both sides are far from interesting. What matters more about this conflict is why they failed to find a mutually acceptable solution.
Pankrác inhabitants can't be happy about the project. Once the newest skyscraper opens and its „brothers“ or „twins“ rise up (one building is visually a bit reminiscent of New York's Twin Towers), the traffic jams will get bigger and people will have trouble finding parking places in front of their own homes. Nor will Malá Strana residents be crowing that the pleasure of their view over Old Town's roofs will be sullied by silhouettes suggestive of praying mantises rising over the city.
On the other hand, some architects contend that the Prague panorama has already been disrupted and that unless we want to tear down the existing skyscrapers, it makes sense to complete the scheme.
What to do about the notion that the guardians of our cultural inheritance should be UNESCO officials? Are…