Grennell:”The investor will be mindful of the history of the General Staff building”

Former US diplomat Richard Grenell said the 1999 destruction of the Serbian Army General Staff building was a significant cultural and architectural loss for Belgrade, noting that everyone involved in the project of this site’s reconstruction is extremely sensitive to the building’s history.

Commenting on Jared Kushner’s plans to “revitalize” the former military headquarters in Belgrade, Grenell, who was former US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Serbia, said it is an honour for them to partner up with the Serbian experts in order to turn this site into a multifunctional world-class project, with a memorial in the centre, as a remembrance of its history.

He said he is excited to see the ideas that will be presented by Serbian experts, so the original architect, the buildings, emotions and patriotism would be honoured on this site.

The idea of a Friendship Bridge is an emotional segment of the design that highlights the original buildings and is a reminder of architect Nikola Dobrovic’s vision, said Grenell.

The media earlier reported that an investment firm owned by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump, is planning to turn the General Staff building into a luxury hotel, office space and an apartment complex with over 1500 units.

The leader of the Ekološki Ustanak Movement and the opposition MP from Serbia Against Violence Coalition, Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta, who was the first to publicly reveal to plans for the construction of luxury buildings on the site of the General Staff building, said on Tuesday that the Serbian government would go ahead with the project, and noted that at first, the Serbian Construction Minister, Goran Vesić, denied the whole project and said it was “a fib”.

“24 hours later, and here we are – Grenell and Trump’s son-in-law (Jared) Kushner tell us it’s a done deal and show us renderings of how it is all going to look like. “They (the Serbian government) never abandon an opportunity to make money, like a shark when it sees its prey. They will not leave this project. They took on an obligation, similar to what happened with Rio Tinto”, Jovanović added.

(Voice of America, 20.03.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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