Budapest seeking transfer of Biodome project to state

The city of Budapest has offered property rights of the Biodome, now under construction in the City Park, to the Hungarian state in return for the government completing the contested project.

The Biodome, presenting life in the Carpathian Basin millions of years ago, is a project on the territory of the Budapest Zoo in the City Park.

Erzsebet Gy. Nemeth, one of the city’s deputy mayors, told a press conference on Wednesday that the government had not been responding since March to appeals for state funding to finish the construction, despite the city’s offering to run the facility once it was completed.

The city has no sufficient resources to complete the project “due to the government’s austerity measures”, Gy. Nemeth said, adding that the government had initiated and so far financed construction. The city maintains its offer to provide animals and plants and run the facility, she said.

“Since 2013, the state has invested 44 billion forints (EUR 121m) into the construction of Biodome for the completion of which an additional 15-20 billion forints would be needed,” Gy. Nemeth said.

If the state accepts to take over the property rights of Biodome, it would take about ten months to prepare the contract on the transfer, she said.

Roland Szabo, the operative director of Budapest Zoo, said that the construction of the Biodome had been completed in October 2020. He said since that time only operational tests have been carried out in the building and a plan of the facility’s full installation has been completed.

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