26. 05. 2017
For quite a lot of time, the restoration of the Potemkin Stairs was held, during which scandals flared up one after another in Odessa. The first scandal was the appeal of city activists to court. The reason for such a negative reaction from local residents was the wrong reconstruction of the monument. Activists said that the company “Ecostroy”, which was engaged in these works, could not cope with the task and began to destroy the local landmark. In their opinion the reason for this sloppiness is the squandering of budget funds allocated for repairs, as well as abuse of the official position. Throughout the period of repair, representatives of the public organization “We Save Odessa by ourselves” stated that the world-famous staircase is getting worse and worse. Activists were surprised why the reconstruction of the monument of state significance is carried out by the mayor’s office, and not by the State Administration.
The police did not react to such a loud statement, and refused to accept the statement from the activists. Six days later, the court ordered the law enforcers to carry out their official duties and literally the same day the head of police took this case under personal control.
After this scandal a wave of indignation arose, in connection with the request of the Odessa municipality to allocate an additional seven million hryvnias. The inhabitants of Odessa again suspected the local authorities of squandering money. The total amount allocated for the reconstruction amounted to 14.5 million hryvnias. And even more so, the fact that the stairs had to open by April, but the work did not move from the place, further angered the city’s population.
Despite such a thorny and long road, the reconstruction of the Potemkin Stairs was successfully completed with a delay of one month. Head of the State Petro Poroshenko arrived to open the local attraction after repairs. Also near the staircase was opened the Istanbul Park, which was awaited for a long time by Odessa citizens and guests of the city. Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbash came to congratulate Odessa with the opening of a new kind of resting place. He also noted significant changes in the main staircase of the city for the better.
But, unfortunately, the residents of Odessa were not particularly happy about such a visit and loud speeches of politicians, because Odessa is not only a staircase and a park. Many accentuated the president’s attention to problems with roads in the city and as you know, Odessa is a transit city of foreigners who come to Ukraine by sea voyages. Also, people were indignant at the deceitful idealization of the city. During the arrival of the Head of State, the police blocked a number of central roads of the city, because of which the majority of the working population could not get to work. Also, the local police dispersed people from the central streets without permanent local residence. And, for example, Soviet stars and flags, which are located on the walls of the Opera House of Odessa, were closed with balloons of the color of the Ukrainian flag. But meanwhile, the fact remains that the updated Potemkin Stairs, as well as the Istanbul Park, are already making the city and tourists happy.