Bringing back a treasure

PATIO: A Slice of Velez-Blanco in New York.

THE Patio de Honor at Velez-Blanco Castle is to be rebuilt.
The castle was constructed in the early 16th century on the site of a Moorish citadel and was gradually stripped by its owner of its most valuable features at the beginning of the 20th century.
The patio, which was dismantled piece by piece in 1904 and sold to a French interior decorator, was later bought by the banker George Blumenthal. President of the Metropolitan Museum in New York from 1934 until 1941, he shipped the patio’s components to New York where they were reassembled in his Park Avenue home.
On his death in 1941, he bequeathed it to the museum where it can now be seen.
The regional government, Velez-Blanco Town Hall and association of marble industrialists, CTAP, have signed an agreement to invite tenders to reproduce the Patio de Honor.
Recreating the marble structure will also give prominence to the Macael brand, said the Culture Department’s head, Jose Sanchez Maldonado. Andalucia’s 941 natural stone industries are a strategic sector in the region, providing work for 4,000 people, said Maldonado.
The project will also revitalise the castle as a tourist attraction while providing an exceptional showcase for the area’s marble, he added.
His department will be allocating €1.13 million to recreating the patio with its two storeys of colonnades of carved Macael marble, which will be supplied by local quarries.


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