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European Union Acknowledges the Refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey


European Union Acknowledges the Refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey

This project has been awarded with Europa Nostra Award, the UE Award for Cultural Heritage Sites.

Mr Bendodo encourages the public to give support to this award by voting on 8th May, so this project would aim for the Public Choice Award.

The refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey has been awarded Europa Nostra – The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage, as announced today by the European Commission and Europa Nostra Organisation. The award is going to be handed in on 24th May during a ceremony in Madrid.

Europa Nostra Awards is the most prestigious prize in Europe in the heritage field and it is supported by Europa Nostra, a federation which aims to protect European natural and cultural heritage, and which brings together 250 organizations, 150 associated bodies and 1,500 individual members.

El Caminito del Rey was one of 28 awarded projects in Conservation Category. Other three categories are: Research, Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organizations, and Education, Training and Awareness-Raising. There were 187 projects presented, and this one was the only Spanish project, together with the refurbishment of six churches in Lorca after the earthquake, which was awarded.
Elîas Bendodo, the President of the Málaga County Council, assessed the prize this afternoon with Marina Bravo, the Environment and Territory Promotion Representative, Francisco Oblarê, the Public Works and Infrastructures Representative, Luis Machuca, the Head of Architecture and Town Planning Department at the County Council and the creator of the project, together with some of the members of the team who cooperated in refurbishment of the path, and the president of the company Sando, Josê Luis Sánchez Domînguez.

After having congratulated the town of Lorca, Mr Bendodo said: ‘it is a great honour than the European Union, through Europa Nostra Association, has chosen the Refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey as one of the most important architecture projects all around Europe. It is a great honour for Spain and the Province of Málaga that the work of the experts from the County Council of Málaga has been acknowledged by the European Union.’

In fact, the European Commission has chosen El Caminito del Rey as an example of creativity, invention and sustainability in the European heritage field. In that sense, the jury described the inserting of the new boardwalks in the landscape as a ‘beautiful solution’, as well as the fact that the old structures were preserved and can be seen today.

The award is going to be handed in on May 24th during the ceremony of the Prize for European Heritage, on the day of the International Heritage Conference, where the Refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey Project is also going to be presented.

Key to the Project

Architect Luis Machuca, the creator of the project and the Head of Architecture and Town Planning Department at the County Council, was pleased to receive one of the most prestigious awards in the field of the cultural heritage conservation. He stressed that the key to the success of the project was the perfect match between the structure and the environment and the fact that so ambitious project was carried out with a quite limited budget. Moreover, he thanked for the agreement made by different political parties and considered that the understanding of the project shown by the company Sando from the very beginning was crucial.

The professionals who collaborated on the project were: architects Marîa Luisa Escudier, Manuel Josê Rodrîguez and Borja Peñalosa, legal adviser Amor Olveira, geographer Encarna León, biologist Aurora Quesada, economist Carlos Vasserot, civil engineer Josê Luis Escolano, industrial engineer Josê Ángel Mata, on-site architect Josê Luis Juanas and structural engineer Juan  Schwarzmann.

Cast your Vote on the Internet

Europa Nostra has launched Public Choice Award, so all European citizens could cast their vote for the best three applicants on the Internet until May 8th.

Regarding this contest, Mr Bendodo invited people from Málaga to participate in voting and cast their vote for El Caminito del Rey Path through the following webpage:

Moreover, a group of experts will choose seven best projects out of 28 awarded ones, and these will receive the Grand Prix.

Other two awards

This prize is given to the project after the first anniversary of the path’s opening, together with another two awards. At the end of 2015, the path was awarded for emerging tourist destination by the Spanish Cabinet, and, a month ago, it obtained a prize at the 13th Spanish Architecture and Town Planning Biennial in the class named Town Planning: Town and Landscape. Moreover, this project is going to be one of the fifteen projects that represent Spain at the Hispanic-American Architecture and Town Planning Biennial (Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura y Urbanismo).

The County Council President explained that these awards can just confirm a resounding success of the refurbishment of El Caminito del Rey, ‘as it helped to develop tourism in the area and it was performed in a way that it conserved the environment, having the minor impact on it. A lot of effort, the agreement between different parties and the team work were awarded as well.’