At the end of October 2019 there was the partial collapse of the dome of the Convent de El Campello, which is privately owned. Just a week later, the City Council began the emergency shoring works in a subsidiary way, to prevent the oldest remaining religious building in El Campello would definitely collapse, finishing the work before Christmas 2019. But almost two years later, the Consistory has not yet required the owners to pay for that work, which amounted to almost 80,000 euros on account of the municipal coffers, according to has denounced the EU and confirmed the City Council.
From the Department of Heritage directed by the mayor Juanjo Berenguer (PP) explained that it is a very complex issue, with multiple owners as a result of an inheritance whose identities they are trying to find out, and that they are working on being able to require the amount, as well as demand the maintenance of this protected property from the seventeenth century to stop its enormous deterioration.
But on the other hand, from the US they do not understand that almost two years later the Corporation has been unable to pass on the 80,000 euros to the owners. Its mayor Pedro Mario Pardo regretted that “nothing has been done to protect the heritage, despite the constant warnings made by the US of the need to act urgently due to the advanced deterioration”, recalling that and in 2014 there was a first warning with a small detachment of some of the walls before collapsing in 2019 a large part of the facade, «forcing the City Council to act. But as he always does: late and bad.
For its part, the local head of US Cultural Heritage, Juanjo Galvañ, stressed that “this is an opportunity to acquire the property so that it becomes public. Taking advantage of the money owed by the owners, an agreement for the transfer of ownership could be made in exchange for renegotiating the almost 80,000 euros they owe, since they have proven unable to maintain the property “.
Finally, the US spokesman stated that “a Councilor for Heritage should show minimal interest. And in this mandate nothing has been advanced in preserving the battered heritage of El Campello: Villa Marco, Torre de Reixes, Torre de Marco, Iberian fort of Low Waters, Convent … It is time to take responsibility, or hand over the powers to someone else. There are no more excuses, so we demand that you enforce your own decree or you will force us to take other measures. Public money and wealth cannot be managed with such irresponsibility.
The mayor ordered through a decree in February 2020 the cost of the work, which was made by the “Imminent risk of ruin”, as well as requiring them to assume their obligations and maintain “the listed property in safety conditions, rehabilitating it at their expense.” But the complexity of finding out the identity of all the owners remains without being able to pass on the cost of the action, since it must be claimed from all the owners, as pointed out by the Consistory.
The emergency action was carried out after the collapse of the north and west enclosure walls, together with the roof of the north bay of the nave, as well as the northwest pilaster that supports the existing dome, and the northwest part of the drum and the dome. . For this reason, a structure was erected to prop up the dome to prevent it from finally collapsing. In addition, the Convent has inhabited outbuildings, which makes the proceedings difficult.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.