The best conservation projects in the category of natural and cultural heritage in Spain that were awarded by the European Union were displayed yesterday afternoon in the headquarters of the County Council of Málaga. The exposition was organized by Hispania Nostra and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), agency which promotes culture, with collaboration of Spanish Agency for International Cultural Cooperation AECID.
This is Hispania Nostra exposition for its 40th anniversary. Spanish heritage in Europe is awarded, embracing almost 200 prizes that Spain received from Europe regarding heritage in the last four decades of its participation in Hispania Nostra association, which defends, protects and promotes Spanish cultural and natural heritage.
Málaga County Council President Elías Bendodo andHispania Nostra President Araceli Pereda officially opened the display, which will remain in the County Council exposition hall (Pacífico 54 street) until the 28th February from 10 am to 2 pm, from Monday to Friday. The Deputy Representative of the Government, Miguel Briones, Mayor of Antequera Mauel Barón, Public Works Representative Francisco Olaré, and Luis Machuca, the architect in charge of the Caminito de Rey.
Hispania Nostra is part of Europa Nostra, a Pan-European network formed by associations and foundations related to cultural heritage. Their prizes started to be awarded in 1978, and gained international recognition. Today, these are the most prestigious heritage awards given by the European Union.
The exposition includes a wide selection of more than 190 Spanish cultural and natural heritage projects which were awarded Europa Nostra prizes. All of them show how varied and plentiful culture and nature in Spain are. We can admire a bridge or Roman villa, Nazarene palaces, ancient salt mines, colossal walls, forgotten monasteries or dramatic natural beauty spots, as well as industrial sites of importance to history.
Due to the wide range of awards and long period of time included in the display, it was divided with boards which group the samples in following groups: Complexes and Walls; Roads and Streets; Industrial Heritage; Natural Heritage; Religious Heritage (monasteries, convents and churches); Civil Heritage (theatres, museums, markets and hotels); Palaces, Houses and Towers; Management Plans, Inventory and Catalogues; Conservation of Furniture; Press; Institutions, People and Projects.
The display was opened in Madrid in May last year, and it visited Mirambel (Teruel), Tarragona, Tarazona (Zaragoza), Morella (Castellón), Cuenca and El Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz).
El Caminito del Rey Path
One of the best projects is the Caminito del Rey refurbishment, carried out by the County Council of Málaga. It was the bes awarded project last year in the field of European Heritage with three prizes. Moreover, the European Commission announced that El Caminito del Rey is the best example of creativity and sustainable development in the field of cultural heritage.
The work done in the natural beauty spot was recognized by Spanish and Latin American architects and it was awarded as an example of good tourism by the Andalusian Government. Elías Bendodo explained that they were very proud to help refurbishing a unique nature site, which promoted tourism and stimulated economic growth of the surrounding towns.
Furthermore, he said that the photos display 'The Surroundings of El Caminito del Rey Path' can be seen in the County Council headquarters until the 9th February. This is a selection of twenty photos of exceptional landscape taken by photographer and mountaineer Sebastián González.
Europa Nostra Awards in the Province of Málaga
The Province of Málaga obtained four Europa Nostra awards. The first prize was awarded in 1987 for refurbishing Teatro Cervantes, a theatre in Málaga. In the category of institutions, people and projects, the province was given award for Algaba de Ronda school in 2008, and for the chimney on the old lead factory, Los Guindos, at Misericordia Beach in Málaga in 2009. last year, the Caminito del Rey refurbishment project was awarded this prize as well.