Those responsible for museums and cultural institutions warn of Gaudí works on “red alert”.

Those responsable for catalan museums and cultural institutions have produced a manifesto within which they warn of the state of “red alert” of some of the most emblematic works of the architect Antoni Gaudí and of the “violation” of the authors rights to which they are subjected during the interventions that are carried out “with a lack of rigour”.

The manifesto is signed by the chairman of the IEC, Salvador Giner, the president of the MACBA Foundation, Leopoldo Rodés, the director of the Reina Sofia, Manuel Borja-Villel, the director of the KRTU of the Generalitat, Vicenç Altaió, the director of the Miró Foundation, Rosa Maria Malet, and the president of the FAD, Beth Galí, amongst others.

The document states that as Gaudí's work acquires' a more relevant magnitude and its universality is reaffirmed”, so the interventions or 'depredations' being carried out on his works are taking a turn that requires the 'taking of courageous decisions that will bring to an end the continuous violations to which they are subjected”.

For the signatories, there are various works of Gaudi 'in a state of red alert', all of them part of the World Heritage, and about which it is necessary to take “steps which will sort things out”. For them, 'any change or intervention that arises, however slight it may seem, must be treated with a strict and knowledgeable eye which will ensure the consolidation of the work without its violation'.

In the case of the Crypt of the Güell Colony, they believe that because of the restoration work undertaken since 2002 essential parts of the exterior and interior of the Crypt have been “irreversably damaged”, something that has “totally distorted” Gaudí´s original work and provoked a “public scandal”.

They demanded the restoration of the crypt to its pre-2002 state and the 'demolition' of the additions which 'isolate, freeze, weaken and trivialize' the original sense of Gaudí's work, 'now reduced to an accident'. It also suggested to the government that those responsible for the works 'continued to act with impunity 'and requested the intervention of an international organization such as UNESCO or ICOM to prepare “an exhaustive study of the damage caused”.

In the Palau Guell, the signatories claimed that after a restoration by the very same person in charge of the Crypt, the building has been closed to the public for years 'veiled in greatest secrecy '. They called for the team that assessed the damage to the Colony Guell, to do the same in the Palau Guell, and for the 'immediate removal' of the architect responsible for the Local Architectural Heritage Service.

With regard to the Casa Batlló, they argued that the protective environment has been 'violated' by the rehabilitation work on the adjoining house. They recalled that during the time of Jose Maria Porcioles as mayor, four floors were raised which presented “a visual aggression”, and regretted that the consistory 'has not processed the order' requiring the demolition of these four floors as stipulated by the protective environment established by the Ministry of Culture.

As for the Sagrada Familia, the signatories confirmed that the continuation of the works “with a structural approach totally at odds with that established by Gaudi', has fostered over the years "a set of sytematic grievances'. 'Today we no longer know where the work of the author begins and where it ends”, they argued.

In the manifesto, they argued that the works “rise above the mediocrity of a group of technicians and promoters who, at best charged with good faith but submegred in anachronistic paternalism, use Gaudí to bequeath their personal imprint to the detriment of the original work, left magnificently unfinished'.

The signatories denounced the 'failure to meet minimum democratic laws', the execution of the works ' without municipal permissionl', the cost of building an expiatory temple “so far removed from contemporary thinking' and with “more urgent' projects in hand.

They also refer to the controversy of the AVE train, regretting the "pretensions of a private religious institution to expropriate the public highway and an Eixample island.” The construction of infrastructure such as that for the high-speed train 'under the pretext of continuing to exploit interests that do not correspond to those of a secular nation '.

Terra Actualidad - Europa Press

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