The Construction Committee of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia (Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family) expects to raise about ten million pesetas
BARCELONA.- It is difficult to separate Capta 2000, the fundraiser promoted each year by the Construction Committee of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, from the still recent celebration of the opening session of the diocesan process of beatification of Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, held April 12.
Although he denied any direct link, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, coordinating architect of the temple, added that, due to the demand of visitors, work is being finished on the opening of a new access from the museum to the rear of the crypt where Gaudí is buried.
In the project report which is presented every year by the temple's Construction Committee in association with the Capta event, published May 30, Bonet i Armengol explained that this access to the crypt shall, in addition, allow part Gaudí's tomb to be seen without disturbing any devotees who may be congregated there. The new area of the museum will also offer an exhibition on the manifestation of popular mourning upon the death of Gaudí, in 1926; it will also refer to the architect's collaborators and the historians who have promulgated his work. There are also thoughts of opening the new audiovisual room, with capacity for about fifty people, to the public. Visitors to this room will be able to see everything from existing films and videos to a presentation tracking the works.
Capta 2000 was held on June 2, 3 and 4. Forecasts indicate that around ten million pesetas, a number similar to those of other years, will be raised. New this year was the possibility of visiting two exhibitions: a trip through brief articles and photographs of the recently restored Jardines Artigas in Pobla de Lillet, one of the few gardens designed by Gaudí (through June 18, in the cloister of Mare de Déu del Roser, at the Nativity facade), and "Fragments of Gaudí, Gaudí through the Canosa collection," a photography exhibition (through September 24, in the cloister of Mare de Déu de Montserrat). The annual concert of the pianist Hisako Hiseki is planned for June 10, at six in the afternoon in the new museum space (Mallorca-Sardenya entrance).
In regard to the progress of the construction of the temple, Bonet i Armengol affirmed that, at this time, 55% of the total construction has been completed. He also officially announced that on the evening of December 31, coinciding with the end of the Jubilee Year and, liturgically, with the day dedicated to the Holy Family, the Cardinal Ricard Maria Carles will officiate in a mass where up to 5,000 people will be able to attend. This is why the construction committee is trying to reach a point where the naves and a good part of the transept can be totally free of scaffolding by the end of the year.
In regard to the sculptural work, the Japanese sculptor Etsuro Sotoo is continuing his work sculpting the stone images of the choir of angels on the seaward side, which are expected to be completed by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the Catalan Josep Maria Subirachs is initiating work on the first of the sketches of the figure of the Ascension of the Resurrected Christ, which will be placed between the two central bell towers, about 60 m. High. In relation to the sculpture, it is also worth noting that on June 10, at twelve noon, the image of Sant Felip Neri will be blessed in the crypt of the temple. The image, by Joan Seguranyes, is three meters tall.
It was sculpted in travertine stone, and promoted by the Congregations of the Oratory of Sant Felip Neri in Barcelona (Gothic Quarter and Gracia) and Vic. It is located on the facade of the eastern nave between the portal and the towers of the Nativity and the Facade of the Glory.
While the vaults of the central nave had been completed at the end of 1999, one may now see the completed hyperboloids that gather light, and in regard to the transept, the space to be covered between the Nativity and Passion facades (1,800 square meters in total). Starting with the foundations finished a year ago, the columns that correspond to the churches founded by the apostles and evangelists are raised, in the central section, and those of Catalonia, at the ends. They are made of basalt, porphyry and granite, and most of them have reached the knot or capital, from which point the ramifications exude. The columns of the evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke are being raised; they are expected to reach the same height as the column of John in a few weeks.
June 8 2000