Guarantee the survival of the Torre de la Illeta de El Campello. The City Council is going to commission a project to restore this iconic bulwark, after a high-precision scan last summer revealed deterioration Before which experts advise to face as soon as possible so that it does not go to more and preserve it for decades.
The report on this defensive tower concludes that in order to stop its constant deterioration, an intervention to consolidate and repair damaged and eroded areas is necessary. Although the stability of the tower is good in general terms, despite the passage of time and the action of corrosive agents, acting on the monument now would translate into guaranteeing its optimal conservation for decades.
For this reason, Mayor Juanjo Berenguer (PP), who is directly responsible for Heritage, will commission the work project to act “as soon as possible” on the most emblematic monument of the municipality.
“You have to act without hesitation,” emphasizes Berenguer, endorsing the arguments of José Ramón Fuentes Bernabéu, technical architect who has directed the study. This expert proposes restoring ashlars deteriorated by erosion, and replacing some displaced and 100% degraded stones, mainly the sandstone pieces, since the limestone ones are in a better state of conservation. Further, birds nest in eroded areas, whose detritus negatively affects the stone.
The action would include a general cleaning of the tower, applying consolidants made from natural and ecological products, which would prevent future erosion, in addition to redoing grouts with the same traditional mortar that was used in its time. All the action will involve the use of materials close to the area, the same with which the monument was built in the 16th century.
In general, the state of conservation of the fortification is good. Its stability is not in danger and no leaks have been detected, according to the Consistory. The monks installed in 1991, the year in which there was significant intervention in their restoration, are working well. However, letting the time pass would mean that within a few years the global restoration would cost much more than the 95,000 euros that are now required to carry out the works.
José Ramón Fuentes’s study to determine the status of the La Illeta defensive tower included a meticulous and complete three-dimensional scanning of the construction by means of laser, to obtain a precise diagnosis millimeter by millimeter. This work was commissioned by a group of experts in civil engineering from the University of Alicante, and the results have led to a proposal for intervention according to the identity and uniqueness of the monument that identifies El Campello.
After several data collection work sessions, last August, billions of ‘points’ were recorded, not just from the tower but from all around it, which has made it possible to obtain a digital model of the tower, erected to defend against the attacks of the Barbary corsairs.
Currently, the tower presents various damages, among which are stains on the walls, the absence of grouting between the stones, and degrees of erosion of different nature, something that responds to the high level of exposure to atmospheric agents to which it is subjected, mainly due to its proximity to the sea.
Experts recommend a “little or no traumatic” action, consisting of the conservation and consolidation of those parts most damaged within the whole, minimally replacing its elements without fear of appreciating the new with respect to the old.
The restoration of 1991, directed by the architect Marius Beviá, was the most relevant and the one that shaped the current appearance of the tower, although its image was modified with respect to its original construction, which did not have the “corsera” that now tops the tower. fortification.
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