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Columbus monument in Barcelona

Barcelona turns to sustainable heritage conservation

Barcelona turns to sustainable heritage conservation

New natural-based materials and better working conditions for people in that sector

The municipal website of Barcelona informed on 21 June that a new contract has been awarded for the maintenance and restoration of heritage monuments and properties in the city. The beneficiary or beneficiaries of the contract were not named but there was considerable detail on the elements that constitute said contract and the upcoming changes to be carried in the urban conservation field. The key objective is to make heritage preservation more sustainable, both environmentally and economically.

Which buildings, objects and monuments are slated for a makeover?

The total budget of the contract amounts to 10.6 million euros and it stipulates various conditions that will need to be observed by the entities carrying out restoration and maintenance works on the symbols of the Catalan capital.

Barcelona has more than 1,500 sculptural elements and sets that require constant dedication to preserve them in good condition. Factors that affect their image and structural bearing are ageing, weather conditions, pollution, vandalism or the water quality of ornamental fountains, among others.

The requirements state that lime mortars and natural base paints must be used, thus avoiding Portland cement mortars and plastic base paints. In addition, wood will be reused and materials recovered from other works will be recycled. Examples of such materials are Montjuïc stone, wooden beams and hydraulic pavements.

Among the monuments that will soon be improved following the defined sustainability criteria are the Triumphal Arch, the monument to Columbus (both of which can be seen in the gallery), the monument to Rafael Casanova and the sardana monument in Montjuïc, which will be fully restored. In the next few days, the rehabilitation of the sculpture of David and Goliath in the Olympic Village will also be completed.

The contract item intended for municipally-owned buildings protected by the heritage catalogue provides for improvement actions to be carried out at the town hall in Plaça de Sant Jaume, the Palauet Albéniz, the Temple of Augustus, the wall of the Pati Llimona Civic Center and the Venetian towers.

Just as important, this new contract will also mean an improvement in the labour conditions of workers and restorers. Their salaries will be above the minimum set by the agreements with the respective professional associations in order to increase the efficiency and quality of the work that is carried out.

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