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  • Baix proposes to restore the Gaudí Crypt of the Güell Colony

    In short, the construction has finally begun on the repair of the roof of the crypt, while the Archbishopry and the Colony Consortium are growing closer to an agreement on the cultural event

    The crypt of Colony Güell, in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, is the only work projected by Gaudí for the soils of Baix Llobregat. The crypt is perhaps Gaudí's least-known work and the one in need of the most reforms, despite the fact that what Gaudí had actually projected for the work was for it to be a temple in the style of Sagrada Familia.

    The crypt, run by the Archbishopry of Barcelona, has been fought for back and forth between the church and the government for years now. The Güell Colony Consortium, made up of the Barcelona Congress, the Regional Council, and the University of Barcelona, holds that the donation of the chapel to the church, which was carried out by the Colony's owner, Eusebio Güell, in 1892, is no longer valid, since it was carried out over a century ago. The Archbishopry disagrees, arguing that the donation actually ocurred in 1952. Despite this disagreement, the two entities have made a "transitory agreement," according to Anna Hernández, manager of the Regional Council, which will stand until it is clear as to who controls the crypt, "I don't think this will be resolved without ending up in the courts."

    The proposal of the Güell Colony Consortium is that the parrish carry on functioning as it does now, and that religious matters be handled by the Archbishopry, but that the Consortium claim the right to direct matters involving tourist visits and cultural events, "since we believe that the church's rights to control the building have expired and that social and cultural matters should now be left in the hands of the governing body."

    For now, the preservation of the building is the number one priority. In this vain, the next few months will see an end to the construction on the crypt's roof, which is currently in very bad shape. After a long process of transactions "we now have the permission of the general direction of the Patrimony of the Generality (governing body of Catalonia) and shortly the City Hall of Santa Coloma de Cervelló will approve the construction license" and begin the project, which has a projected budget of over 50 million pesetas. According to Anna Hernández, the Consortium claims this to be the first of a series of future imporovements to the crypt. "While construction is taking place," states Hernandez, "we will look for the finances necessary to continue."

    October 1999

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