Koper palace passes to Italian community
Koper, 7 October - Tarsia Palace in Koper has passed into the ownership of the umbrella organisation of the Italian community in Slovenia after serving for years as the headquarters of the regional newspaper publisher Primorske Novice.
The purchase agreement was signed in Koper on Wednesday by Alberto Scheriani, the head of the Coastal Italian Self-Governing Community, and Primorske Novice CEO Janez Pavčnik. The purchase money was secured by Slovenia, the Government Office for National Minorities said on Friday.
Apart from headquartering the Italian umbrella minority organisation, Tarsia Palace will also house the seat of the Koper division of the organisation, the office of the Italian minority deputy in the Slovenian National Assembly and the headquarters of the Italian promotional, cultural, educational and development centre Carlo Combi.
The palace will also be home to the Italian community's sports and youth associations, A.I.A., the Adriatic news agency (the Koper desk of the Istrian newspaper La Voce del Popolo) and the AIAS cultural association.
"Being under the same roof will enhance cohesive and efficient work of the organisations of the Italian national community for the benefit of its members, they will be able to exercise the fundamental rights of the Italian national community even more easily and in a more cohesive way," the Italian community said.
The signing of the purchase agreement was also attended by Stanko Baluh, director of the Government Office for National Minorities, Italian deputy in the National Assembly Felice Žiža, Italian Ambassador to Slovenia Carlo Campanile, Consul General in Koper Giovanni Coviello, the mayors of Koper and Ankaran, Aleš Bržan and Gregor Strmčnik, and many representatives of the Italian community in Slovenia.
"The Italian community is happy to have been given the opportunity to develop our activities and strengthen our existence in this part of Istria," Scheriani told the newspaper Delo.
He said the community could not afford to buy the palace until the former government decided to allocate several million euros to the community.
This year's state budget earmarked EUR 950,000 for the purchase of the palace and the community chipped in a further EUR 55,000. The community will take the possession of the building at the end of the year and move in after minor maintenance work is completed, Scheriani also told Delo.
According to Delo, Primorske Novice is moving to rented premises of the company Cimos.