St. Antoni Gaudí, architect
The Vatican Congregation of the Saints has given the green light to an analysis of the life of Antoni Gaudí, the architect from Reus (or Riudoms, as is being debated), for his possible beatification, the first step toward sainthood. Good news for believers. Even for non-believers. Because, even if faith is nil or scarce, his beatification makes the figure of that Catalan genius even more larger than life. And why deceive ourselves? His earthly legacy - that is, his architecture - is a fundamental attraction for Barcelona. Therefore, believers or not, almost everybody is happy about this news.
For example, those who should be most excited are the creators of the Gaudin's, a cartoon series inspired by the Pedrera, which will soon appear on television screens all over the world. In the series, the Casa Milá is transformed into a sort of medieval castle, and the characters are the chimneys and minarets from the roof of the building on the Passeig de Gracia, which come to life along with dragons and other cute monsters inspired by Gaudí. The project, headed by the Abilbo design firm, with the cooperation of the Fundació Caixa Catalunya, which has been developed over the last two years, has culminated in pilot programs produced by Phil Roman, the American who directed such noted cartoon series as "The Simpsons," "Snoopy," and "Garfield."
These "demos" have been a big hit in the festivals of Cannes, Singapore and New Orleans. More than eighty television stations around the world are now fighting to buy exclusive rights to the series, include two of the major American networks and, of course, some Japanese stations.
The project, which is expected to be commercially broadcast on the small screen next Christmas, will make Gaudí, the architect, the Pedrera and Barcelona a center of interest for millions of children and adults all over the world, beyond the cultured elite who are already familiar with the work of the modernist genius and mystic, who may now also be recognized in heaven.
Josep Maria Soria
Mi ciudad, La Vanguardia
Saturday, March 11, 2000