A few months ago, I posted about the uncertain future of Seville's medieval shipyards, the Atarazanas.
Built by Rey Alfonso X in 1252, this beautiful, historic building, which consists of seven areas with huge vaulted arches, had been mooted as the venue for a CaixaForum Cultural Centre, guaranteeing funds both for its renovation and future maintenance, essential for such an ancient structure.
Then, last November, it was announced by La Caixa that they would be relocating the CaixaForum to its new tower, the Torre Pelli (built by a recent aquisition, Cajasol). And the Atarazanas? A tomar por el culo, as they say rather indelicately around here ("Get stuffed" would be a polite translation).
Shortly after this announcement, I went to a demonstration (small, well-heeled and extremely well-behaved) outside the Atarazanas to protest against such essential funding behind unceremoniously removed.
Then yesterday, in the latest episode of the drama, it was announced that La Caixa is giving ten million euros to create a cultural centre in the Atarazanas (less than the original 25 million euros allocated to the CaixaForum project). The annual budget for cultural activities will be 200,000 euros.
This is an extremely welcome turn of events, given that it will mean the building will be properly conserved. Some reports suggest the ground level may be lowered, revealing the full glory of the brick pillars which support the arches. Over half of their full height is buried under the floor.
All in all, extremely good news for the cultural and touristic life of Seville!