Le Figaro Nice
Here we go again "Acropolis", the congress center of Nice, except on the tram station ... The stop was discreetly renamed by Nice City Hall last month. It is now renamed "Republic". Further proof of the will of the mayor Christian Estrosi to turn the page on this file thicker than expected and to carry out the most important project of his third term. "He will multiply demonstrations and sequences on the progress of the work," warned a regular in municipal affairs. "Bingo!" he says today. The mayor organized a stroll around the building, still standing. But the least we can say is that the pot has already been well cured.
Major asbestos removal operations are carried out inside Acropolis. "This is the most sensitive subject," conceives the mayor. In the dark corridors, only string lights guide the workers. The ceilings have disappeared, only many cables and suspended sheaths remain. Outside, workers are busy removing the large windows on the sides. "You can photograph before all this is gone, we will keep it in the archives," jokes the edile, not without pride. Before taking a more serious tone and warning: "We found three times more asbestos than expected compared to our studies and, therefore, we will take another month to carry out these operations." Not enough to revive a debate: "We will be right on time!" he says.
At the end of June 2024, there must no longer be a brick of Acropolis, building era Jacque Médecin (1984), the former Nice figure of the City Hall. "With public works, you never know!", tempers about the calendar a local detractor, who has in mind the precedents of the creation of the tramway under Jacques Peyrat. "We checked everything to avoid this, precisely by having this episode in mind!", sweeps an "estrosist".
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A €10 million project
Nearly 90% of the relics of the building will be recycled, promises the Nice town hall, when the legal limit is 70%. The first pickaxes to bring down the building will begin this summer. "The first excavators will demolish part of the Apollo room from July," announced Christian Estrosi. Both ends of the palace will start to descend and you will already see new landscapes," he said. "It is symbolic to start there because there will be no more going back, laments an opponent of this project. And then it was the most beautiful room!"
By December 2025, an "urban forest" will have replaced the building in order to create the much-vaunted and hoped for "island of freshness". During this site visit, the elected officials who accompany the first magistrate do not fail to recall the heat on the site. "You can't even get your hands on the bitumen," says Richard Chemla, deputy in charge of ecology. A dog wouldn't be able to put its paws in it either!"
The Acropolis demolition site in Nice
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Global warming and the need to make the Côte d'Azur capital greener have long motivated municipal teams to justify this extension of the "Coulée verte" and the razing of the National Theater of Nice, and very soon the Palais des Congrès. And it doesn't matter if the opponents scream at unreasonable spending. This demolition site will cost around 10 million euros. "The ecological transition will be very expensive, but those who do not make it will pay even more!", hammered Richard Chemla. "All the ingredients are there to legitimize what we are doing," added Christian Estrosi. To be in public action is to carry out a mandate with courage. It's wrong to be right too soon."