Bulgaria's culture minister has denied allegations that the National Palace of Culture NDK, one of the landmarks of the capital Sofia, is about to be put on sale.
"Nobody said that NDK would go private, in fact its privatization has been in the making before our decision and we prevented it. All offices and shops in the NDK underpass have been sold out, the covered parking, which is a gold mine, has been sold and re-sold, ", Vezhdi Rashidov explained in an interview for state-owned TV channel BNT.
The statement came just days after NDK was transformed into a public limited company (PLC) via a decision of the cabinet, which put the Finance Ministry in charge of is management and launched an audit procedure.
Minister Rashidov expressed his bewilderment at the silence surrounding NDK through the years, pointing out that he had personally opposed plans to turn the palace into an "Arabian shopping mall".
According to Rashidov, the Ministry of Culture lacks the resources to complete the financial inspection, which is why the Finance Ministry will remain in charge of NDK for a period of 7-8 months.
In conclusion, Rashidov called for clear and transparent management of NDK, which is the largest multifunctional congress, conference, convention and exhibition center in Southeastern Europe.
NDK was opened in 1981 and has an area of 123,000 mІ on eight floors and three underground levels.
Curiously, more than 10,000 tons of steel were used for the construction of the NDK - 3,000 more than the Eiffel Tower.