‘What the hell have they done?’ Spanish castle restoration mocked

Matrera castle in Cdiz, southern Spain, joins list of Spanish artwork and building repairs causing hilarity and outrage

For more than a thousand years, the battlements of Matrera castle have withstood the alternating onslaughts of Moors and Christians, the pummelling of torrential rains and the tendrilled, reclaiming creep of nature.

Today, however, the 2-metre-thick walls of the Andalusian fortress find themselves under a different, if equally ferocious, siege.

A recently completed restoration project, intended to shore up the castle after its ruins were severely damaged by rains three years ago, has provoked an incredulous reaction from some locals and a Spanish conservation group.

Photographs of the castles newly restored tower, in which new materials have been used to protect older stones and to return the hulk to its original shape and dimensions, have been mocked online and in the nearby town of Villamartn in Cdiz province.

Local residents told Spains La Sexta channel they werent impressed, or, as one man put it: Theyve got builders in rather than restorers and, like we say round here, theyve cocked it up.

The Spanish heritage and conservation group, Hispania Nostra, was similarly critical if slightly more measured in its language.

The consolidation and restoration – as the architects involved call it – [is] truly lamentable and has left locals and foreigners deeply shocked, it said.

Comments arent really necessary when youve seen the photographs. Foreigners have written to us saying they cant understand why these follies better described as heritage massacres still go on. And that is indeed what they are.

Twitter, characteristically, has been rather more blunt. Its pretty clear that restorations of works of art in Spain always end up worse than the original, wrote one user.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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