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Bulgariaa[euro][TM]s Botanical Garden "Threatened with Extinction".

The wrangle over the ownership of the botanical garden in the coastal town of Balchik gathered momentum on Monday after the director alarmed that its future is far from certain.

"The botanical garden in Balchik is threatened with extinction," its director Krasimir Kosev said and sided with Sofia University St. Kliment of Ohrid it its year-long dispute with the Ministry of Culture over the ownership of the popular tourist site.

"Sofia University has successfully managed the garden for more than 55 years and it continues to develop it," Kosev said, echoing last week's statement of the rector of the university that it is about to be robbed of its plot.

"Sofia University may lose all 74 decares that it owns in the botanical garden in Balchik," Ivan Ilchev, rector of the university, said, citing a draft decision of the government, signed by Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov and Regional Development Minister Rossen Plevneliev.

The botanical garden in Balchik spreads over 190 decares, out of which 74 are owned by the university and the remainder by the culture ministry. According to the university a plot is underway to transfer the whole area under the management of the culture ministry to the benefit of private investors.

Bathing in sunlight most of the year, the botanical garden is home to more than 2000 plant species belonging to 85 families and 200 genera. One of the garden's main attractions is the collection of large-sized cactus species arranged outdoors on 1000 square meters, the second of its kind in Europe after the one in Monaco.
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Publication:Sofia News Agency
Date:May 10, 2010
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