”Re-programming disaster”

Report from New York Times, April 3rd, 2001: «Spain’s Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Pilar del Castillo, and Manuel Fraga Iribarne, President of the Xunta of Galicia, today unveiled plans for the City of Culture of Galicia (CCG): an 810,000 square foot (75.250 m²), $175 million (145 mill. Eur) project designed by the world-renowned fi rm of Eisenman Architects. One of the largest cultural complexes now in development; world-wide, the CCG is evidence of Spain’s growing investment in culture as an economic development tool. Banking on the «Bilbao-effect» (so-called for the popularity conferred on that city by the Guggenheim Museum), the Autonomous Community of Galicia, in the Northwest corner of Spain, looks to its boldly contemporary City of Culture to spur tourism at the same time as it enriches local cultural and educational offerings».

We were driving up Monte Gaia. It was a wonderful November day. Visits to the building site of the new cultural center in Galicia named The City of Culture were canceled. The new government needs some time to think about how to continue. The project eats money beyond belief. It is not clear, or it is not yet public, who is going to program the new space, which includes the new Galician library, a museum of Galician history, a technology center, a music theater, and an archive of periodicals. Perhaps there is money to finish the building, but who is going to pay for the running of the new institutions once it is completed?

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