Neighbourhood Association opposing the AVE tunnel reveal that Culture has lied to UNESCO

The “Plataforma AVE por el Litoral”, opposed to the high speed train tunnel through the centre of Barcelona, today revealed that the Ministry of Culture “deceives” Unesco in stating that there are no alternatives to this route or that the catalogued area of the temple is more than 60 metres away from where the tunnel will pass.

The spokesman for the association, Pere Vallejo, told Efe that according to a detailed study of the route, the distance between the area catalogued as World Heritage – the facade of the Nacimiento – is 33 metres not 61, as stated recently by Culture in a meeting they held in Sevilla with delegates from Unesco , to avoid the monument being declared as in danger.

This study upon which the revelation of the supposed “deceipt” is based was prepared by the industrial engineer José Vicente Costa, and includes data today published in an advert placed in the pages of a daily Barcelona newspaper, in which the position of Culture is criticised.

"Although the advert is signed solely by Mr.Costa, we endorse everything that appears therein, and in fact we collaborated with him in its preparation, stated Vallejo to Efe.

Despite the building work on the tunnel having already commenced, those opposed to this route state that there are still four possible alternatives – Litoral (Coastal), calle Aragón, calle Valencia or through Vallčs- and reminded everyone that the company INTEMAC, commissioned by ADIF itself, is studying whether the measures proposed to protect the temple are satisfactory.

The association states its criticism that the Spanish representative of the Unesco World Heritage Committee, the general deputy director of the Ministerial Historic Heritage, Luis Lafuente, is the one who has defended the current route, “despite engineers, architects, geologists and independent experts who totally opposing it”.

The preparatory building works for the AVE tunnel through the centre of Barcelona, which will connect the Sants stations with the future one at Sagrera, have already been progressing for some months now.

In the last few days tests are being carried out next to the temple of the Sagrada Familia to check whether the subterranean pylons, of more than forty metres, with which a screen wall is to be built to protect the foundations of the building planned by Gaudi, make for the most suitable method.

During the coming month of September, a High Court judge will visit the building works “in situ” to verify that they are not causing damage to the expiatory temple, the most visited monument in Barcelona, and whose central nave it is anticipated will open for worship in autumn of next year.

The plans of the Ministry of Public Works anticipate that “Barcino” the huge tunneler being currently assembled will be ready to attack the tunnel from the Sagrera zone this autumn.

Source: EFE

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