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National Art Academy In Sofia Will Double In Size

The National Art Academy has signed an agreement allowing for research to be conducted for potential reconstruction and expansion of the academy's building in Sofia, after a competition was held, selecting architect Stefan Dobrev for the task.Towards the end of 2006, the government declared that for the 110th anniversary of the Academy, it would allocate one million leva towards the building's modernisation and expansion. Bureaucratic and legal complications, however, meant that no work was carried out for nearly two years amid allegations that one of the architect's companies had won unfairly.The supreme administrative court, however, declared the accusations to be baseless. It also ordered the work to be continued by the company selected to carry out task the plan in the first place. The sum for the contract has been since boosted to two million leva, reports Stroitelstvo Gradut.The current building, a 110-year-old masterpiece by architect Alexander Smirnoff, has been declared a cultural and historic monument and must be thoroughly restored and preserved to its present standards and appearance. The future project and the construction works, which will take place on Levski Blvd, will be symmetrical in design and a replica of the existing building built by Smirnoff.The objective of the new construction and the expansion of the Academy is to allow for all branches and departments of the academy to be united and accommodated under one roof in order for it be more convenient and efficient. Spacious areas will be allocated to green belts and gardens between the buildings. There will also be new facilities: a new art gallery 1000 sq m in area, a new museum and study halls as well as recreational and rest facilities and a new reception hall. To help employees and ease congestion in the area, the Academy will also have a large underground multi-storey car park.