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On Europe Day great importance was attached to the cultural heritage of the towns around El Caminito del Rey

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On Europe Day great importance was attached to the cultural heritage of the towns around El Caminito del Rey

Elías Bendodo stresses the importance of promoting cultural heritage that belongs to the province. The County Council is organizing an event to specify details about the projects done in Álora, Antequera, Ardales and Valle de Abdalajís as the part of the the European project Estrategia DUSI.

The County Council has celebrated today Europe Day by stressing the importance of the cultural heritage in the towns that surround El Caminito del Rey Path. The above event was celebrated this afternoon in Antequera. The most important project activities and works which are going to be carried out in this town as well as in Álora, Ardales and Vallle de Abdalajís thanks to the financing of ‘DUSI Caminito del Rey’ European project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, FEDER in Spanish) were presented.

The County Council President Elías Bendodo and Mayor of Antequera Manuel Barón, Mayor of Ardales María del Mar González and Mayor of Álora José Sánchez attended the event, which consisted of conferences, round tables and music performances in order to celebrate European Day of Cultural Heritage.

Elías Bendodo underlined the importance of diversity and variety of our cultural heritage, and insisted on promotion and information spreading regarding the cultural heritage in the province that used to be settled by different civilizations. He said that the heritage is where past and future touch, it belongs to all of us and it is of our concern. Therefore, he added, we are those who should enjoy it, use it, and, above all, protect it and respect it.

Furthermore, he talked about the refurbishment of the Caminito del Rey, a project which has been a big stimulus for the four surrounding towns and the inland of the province. He also stressed that this project is also headed by the County Council as part of the Operational Programme for Sustainable Growth (DUSI) funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and that 12.5 million euros are going to be invested in these four towns.

He said that the County Council was going to continue promoting the path because they know it has become a brand of great national and international potential. Therefore, they have already started working on the expansion if the circular trail, something which will definitely attract tourists and be very successful.
Elías Bendodo acknowledged the importance of the European funds  for the development of the province and he was glad to say that the ERDF made possible investing 100 million euros in fourteen towns.
Project Activities and Works in Four Towns

Employment, European Resources and New Technology Representative José Alberto Armijo has given details about the main ideas of the European project DUSI Caminito del Rey, which consists of a group of activities funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and has been carried out by the County Council and the Town Councils of Álora, Ardales and Valle de Abdalajís who worked together on it.

The European Resources Service is a county body which coordinates the tasks performed by several other administrations, such as the Budget and Electronic Administration, Roads and Works, Architecture, Town Planning, Coordination, Employment, Economic Development and Profitable Growth, Community Social Services, Environmental and Territory Promotion Department.

Besides the improvements of El Caminito del Rey path's foundations, the project wants to give importance of tourist resources of the above four towns. This way, the Arco de los GIgantes [the Arch of the Giants] and the refurbishment of San Sebastián Square and Infante Don Fernando Street will form part of the project in Antequera. Moreover, the zone of La Moraleda is going to be refurbished and Cerro de San Cristobal neighbourhood planned. The tourist office is going to be built and La Legion Avenue improved as well as the surroundings of the Citadel.

In Álora, the area at the entrance to the castle is to be built and El Chorro neighbourhood to be developed. Roman Villa is going to be prepared for visits and San Lorenzo Square in Valle de Abdalajís refurbished. As for the Town of Ardales, some tourist heritage sites are planned to be refurbished, such as the prehistoric cave and Turón Castle. The access too the medieval town of Bobastro and the paths in it shall be improved.
Professor and head of Jean Monnet Departament of European Economy at the University of Málaga Pablo Podadera attended the event and gave a conference on 'Europe – a strategy of growth'. There was also a round table about the cultural heritage in the towns that surround the path with representatives of the above four towns.

Music School of Antequera and the students of Elementary Conservatory of Music in Antequera performed at the end of this celebration.