Regeneration project under fire

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The Mesón Gitano wall under construction, with the Alcazaba fortress in the background

By Richard Torné

Granada’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts has waded into the debate on the highly controversial Mesón Gitano restoration project at the foot of the Alcazaba fortress after dismissing the near-completed work as “reprehensible” and “disturbing”.

The €5.3m-scheme to revamp historic caves on an esplanade below the famous 10th century monument was approved by Almería city council in April 2013.

The project, 70 per cent of which was financed by the EU, includes the construction of a venue for 1,000 people, along with workshops, an access road to the fortress, and a hanging garden draped over a reinforced concrete wall.

But the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Granada has rounded on the project, located barely 10 metres from the entrance to the Alcazaba, saying the wall forms a visual barrier which dwarfs surroundings, criticising the design as “reprehensible” and expensive.

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