Colonia Güell / Construction
THE GUELL CRYPT - THE DISASTROUS RESTORATION OF A GAUDI MASTERPIECE
Directed by Barcelona City Hall (Diputacion) historic preservation agency architect Antonio Gonzalez MorenoOverall view of the work carried out : the stairwell Gaudi designed leading to the upper floor of the Crypt has disappeared entirely, having been replaced by a section of zinc roofing.
The façade is dominated by a huge block of granite, a presumptuous invention by Gonzalez, who has placed himself on the same plane as Gaudi.
Gonzalez also chose to cover the floor of the church and sidewalks with gray marble slabs, inventing low walls, stairways, etc. A lamentable form of "esthetic" understatement has been substituted for Gaudi's naturalism.
Moreover, Gonzalez isolated the Crypt with a metal gate in order to oblige visitors to pay for admission, a fact which dismays the priest in charge of the church, which must remain an active place of worship.
The applied techniques do not correspond to the internationally indispensable standard in the field of the patrimonial protection, damages happened because of works have been covered by means of stucco in an attempt to make disappear them. There is lost the so modest character and respectful of the original set, there is lost the dawn.
In response to a number of complaints, Unesco notified the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the ICOMOS (the international council of museums) of its "concern" that this restoration might disqualify Gaudi's work from being inscribed on its list of World Heritage Center sites.
The restoration also became a controversial issue in Spain and throughout Europe. In 2002, a group of fifty Catalan intellectuals, including Antoni Tapiès and Ricardo Bofill, signed a manifesto protesting the fact that the work had perverted Gaudi's design for the façade and interior of the Crypt.
On December 10, 2003, a second, similar manifesto, signed by 31 European intellectuals, demanded that construction be stopped and that Gaudi's original building be restored.
Rainier Gräfe, professor of the University of Innsbruck (Austria) which has studied the Güell Crypt for 20 years, qualified "terrible" state of the temple and considered it regrettable that some of the damage will be very difficult to repair. "The experts believe that 25% of the legacy of Gaudí" are already irremediable".
Whenever Mr. Gonzalez has been involved in restoring Gaudi's buildings, he has given free rein to his own ideas instead of respecting the original design. For example, this bureaucrat commissioned works from contemporary artists for the terrace roof of Palacio Güell, destroying Gaudi's original work of art.
Actually the person to blame for this disaster tries to recompose his errors made, years ago in the restoration of the Güell Palace. Locked up with triple turn inside the Guëll Palace and surrounded by the same team of the Güell Crypt distruction. Keeping the maximum secrecy prohibiting the visits of the building site, to everyone.
The architect Antonio González Moreno, was finally fired of the Architectonic Direction Diputation of Barcelona (nov. 2008), for his lamentable restoration of the Güell Crypt.
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