Maria Samardjieva vs. the National Institute for Preservation of Immovable Cultural Values
Maria Samardjieva requested access to a document by the Director of the National Institute Preservation of Immovable Cultural Values authorizing NGOs to plant on April 29, 2009 a Maple tree in the garden of the National Art Gallery. The requestor also sought all relevant documentation regarding authorizations or refusals of intervention in historic gardens in Sofia, classified as cultural heritage for the period June 1, 2008 - June 1, 2009. The Director of the Institute refused access on the ground of Art. 13, Para. 2 and Art. 37, Para. 1, Item 2 of the APIA without pointing any factual grounds.
With its decision, as of February 22, 2010, the Administrative Court Sofia City noted that considering the nature of the information and the principle of openness and transparency of the management of cultural heritage, set forth in Art. 3 of the Cultural Heritage Act, there is clearly overriding public interest, which requires the body to release the information, even if this would harm interests of third parties.