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Government to purchase ‘Whale’ commercial center

The Hungarian government will purchase the "Whale" (Bálna) cultural, recreational and commercial center on the banks of the Danube from the local council of Budapest, János Lázár, who heads the Prime Ministerʼs Office, said at his weekly press briefing on Thursday.   

The government will hand over the management of the center to the Hungarian Tourism Agency after the transaction, Lázár was cited as saying by state news wire MTI.

Lázár said the government would make public the purchase price and the time of the transfer as soon as a purchase contract is signed. 

The local council of Budapest voted at the end of September to put the Whale, named for its striking architectural features, up for sale with a minimum asking price of HUF 11 billion.

Previously, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) had said late in 2015 that it was in talks with the council on buying the Whale and turning it into an education and financial center that would house the central bankʼs visitor center.