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Full-scale implementation of the Liget Budapest Project receives support from 80 percent of the population

Once presented the concrete plans regarding the renewal of the City Park (Városliget), 80 percent of Hungary’s population supports the full-scale implementation of the Liget Budapest Project. The overwhelming majority of the respondents are of the opinion that the entire project should be realised as it would significantly boost Hungary’s reputation; moreover, they say that preventing the completion of the project would incur losses not only for Budapest but the whole country. Nationwide research revealed that four-fifths of those asked support the construction of the New National Gallery, the House of Hungarian Innovation and the Városliget Theatre. Commissioned by the Városliget Zrt. and carried out by the Inspira Research Group, the survey on the Liget Budapest Project recorded data by conducting personal interviews in a representative sample of 1,000 asking them about their opinions on the new buildings planned to be built in Budapest’s City Park.

László Baán, the project’s ministerial commissioner, said that this survey was the third opinion poll according to which – once provided with the concrete plans – the overwhelming majority of those surveyed support the implementation of the whole Liget Budapest Project. In 2016 residents of Budapest were asked about the project by Ipsos, and the same question was asked by Inspira Research at the end of last year. According to the first survey, two-thirds of those living in Budapest expressed their support for the comprehensive and complex renewal of the City Park – i.e. the Liget Budapest Project – in 2016, while according to the latter, conducted last December, this proportion rose to over 70 percent. The ministerial commissioner said that these percentages coupled with the absolutely positive reception of the already completed developments realised within the project confirm that when shown the concrete details of the Liget project – instead of the often politically biased negative assumptions communicated about it – the overwhelming majority of people both in the capital and in the whole country support the full-scale implementation of the Liget project, including the construction of the New National Gallery, which, according to László Baán, is a key element of the City Park’s renewal and the most important one in regard to the project’s international reception. As stated by the ministerial commissioner, the Gallery’s accurate and final visual design completed based on the working drawings clearly show that the construction of the new building would enrich Budapest and all of Hungary with a new cultural institution of stunning beauty and quality. László Baán emphasised that he hoped the capital’s new leadership would be truly willing to engage in a professional dialogue based on facts and take account of the majority opinion expressed by the residents of the capital and the inhabitants of the country in this project of nationwide importance.

When asked about the methodology and the sampling used by Inspira Research Ltd, the company’s managing partner and CEO, Tamás Géczi said, “Similarly to the research we carried out at the end of last year, during the laptop-assisted personal interviews the respondents were first asked about the planned buildings based on the visual design shown to them and then they evaluated the entire Liget Project based on several aspects, but this time the sample of 1,000 interviewees was nationwide. Therefore, it can be concluded that the research findings reflect the nationwide opinion about the Liget Budapest Project, while confirming the previous representative survey conducted in Budapest, according to which more than two-thirds of Budapest’s residents support the renewal of the City Park.”

The most important finding of the recent, nationwide representative research is that when informed about the concrete plans, 80 percent of the 18+ Hungarian population support the full-scale implementation of the Liget Project. As expressed by 84 percent of the respondents, it is important that new and modern cultural institutions be added to the City Park in a way that they would increase and renew the green areas of the park and their construction would be realised in the locations of demolished buildings or car parks, which is exactly how the project describes the plans to be carried out. This is confirmed by the fact that 86 percent of the respondents think that the construction of the planned new buildings would effect a positive change compared to the current state of the City Park.

According to the vast majority of those asked, the complete Liget Budapest Project should be implemented as it would significantly boost Hungary’s reputation, whereas preventing the completion of the project would bring losses not only to the capital but to the whole country. As stated by 82% of the respondents, Budapest’s cultural reputation and appeal in international tourism would be positively influenced by the new buildings planned to be built within the framework of the Liget Budapest Project, while 77 percent thought that it would be detrimental to the country if the Liget project were interrupted and not realised in its entirety, according to the original plans. 82 percent said that the renewal of the City Park would give buildings to the whole country and future generations that could well become important icons of Hungary.

According to 75 percent of the respondents, the Liget Budapest Project, the aim of which is the renewal of the City Park, is not merely crucial to the capital but is in itself a nationwide, national issue. This is further confirmed by the fact that some 50,000 people in Hungary have signed the petition launched in Nagykanizsa, asking the government to do all in its power to save the Liget Budapest project. The call started by László Szabó, a retired engineer living in Nagykanizsa, says that the new leadership of the capital wants to prevent the largest-scale cultural development project of the last one hundred years. As the petition asserts, “Budapest does not only belong to the citizens of Budapest but to the whole country; therefore, everybody will benefit from its completion since Budapest is the Nation’s Capital”. The petition has thus far been signed by residents of more than 400 towns and villages, as well as by citizens in five continents from Budapest to London, Székelyudvarhely to New York, Dunaszerdahely to Tokyo, Szabadka to Sydney, and Csáktornya to Sao Paolo in a concerted effort to save the Liget Project.

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