TALLINN - Giorgio Piccinato, an expert of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, battered Tallinn's Viru Center while speaking with civic leaders on Dec. 5.
Piccinato opined that the Viru Center was an ugly project, according to the Tallinn press service.
"Even a student submitting such a project would have failed my exam," Piccinato was quoted as saying.
He added that planning the city in patches and without environmental consideration was incomprehensible. He stressed that the design of any single object must be seen in combination with its surrounding environment.
"The Old Town is a very important part of the environment, as well as a very important economic resource. The capital that has to be protected," Piccinato said.
The UNESCO expert underlined that building anything in such a place required a good project and clear vision about the future of the whole surrounding area.
"There should be no possibility of accepting one project alone. There must be a program covering the whole area, there must be ideas, and an integral picture," he said.
Speaking about opening the city to the sea, Piccinato said that this idea held great prospects, and Tallinn could learn from many world cities' respective positive experience in this field.
He was also concerned by hazardous freight carried through Tallinn and the future of the naval port.
Still, the expert's impression of the city wall and the zone of bastions surrounding it left a good impression on the expert.
Mayor Juri Ratas, a member of the Center Party, and deputy mayors Kalev Kallo and Kaia Jappinen took part in the meeting with the UNESCO representative.