200 million euros for the renovation of eleven palaces and castles - the task of the Cultural Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt is huge. Rising prices, delivery problems and increasing competition for skilled workers are part of the general conditions. How can this work?
Leitzkau (dpa/sa) - The Saxony-Anhalt Cultural Foundation wants to prioritize the renovation of Allstedt Castle and Neuenburg Castle and the construction of a depot in Halle as part of the large special investment program (SIP). All other of the eleven major projects would also be continued with the 200 million euro program, said the director general of the cultural foundation, Christian Philipsen, of the German press agency.
The refurbishment program financed by the federal and state governments is a great opportunity to refurbish the important cultural monuments in one go and to further develop them for tourist use. "It's no longer about building according to the cash situation," emphasized Philipsen. He also pointed out: "The SIP needs staying power."
According to Philipsen, Allstedt Castle has priority because it will be the focus of the 500th anniversary of the Peasants' War and 500th of Thomas Müntzer. A large exhibition is to be shown there in 2025. The castle has only belonged to the cultural foundation since the middle of last year. The new central depot in Halle for the collections of the cultural foundation is a prerequisite for the renovation of other palaces.
"We're not ready anywhere to build," said Philipsen. That needs advance. The new building department was set up last year. Now the foundation has the team together that can work, said Philipsen.
Years of advance planning, investigations and building research must be expected. In the case of Neuenburg Castle, for example, a master plan was drawn up in 2021. Now a Europe-wide interdisciplinary competition is to be organized. The cultural foundation expects a decision to be made in the fall of this year. It would then be another two years before construction could begin. In total, according to Philipsen, this corresponds to a lead time of around five years.
According to General Director Philipsen, this is not the case for all projects in the special investment program. For many, the plans are very advanced. These included the Letzlingen hunting lodge and the Eckardsburg. There it is a classic renovation of a monument, for example with a roof, walls and windows. The first construction measures as part of the special investment program are to start this year. This should include the ascent to the Eulenspiegel Tower at Bernburg Castle.
The federal and state governments jointly launched the 200 million euro program in order to be able to complete the renovation of important palaces and castles. It will run for eight years until the end of 2027. Whether all projects can actually be implemented financially and within the specified period remains to be seen. "It's still too early to cancel, change and postpone things," said Philipsen.
How big the task of the special investment program is is shown by a comparison with the foundation's ongoing construction work on its 20 monuments, from cathedrals and palaces to castles. This year five million euros are available for ongoing construction business. This can be used to pay for work on the crumbling sandstone facades of the Magdeburg and Halberstadt cathedrals. The special investment program does not provide any funds for sacred buildings.
The Kulturstiftung implements the program in times that are not exactly easy. The construction costs are rising, there are delivery problems, especially in the area of building services from air conditioning and heating to plumbing and electrical engineering, specialists are hard to come by. Thomas Bechstein, who is responsible for the special investment program, emphasized that the cultural foundation also competes with other top-class clients when it comes to tenders.