VALENCIA’S City of the Arts and Sciences continues to soak up regional funds.
The Consell – the Valencian government’s cabinet – will not pay the €10 million needed to finish the Agora, a covered plaza for concerts and sports events.
The final, incomplete section of the pharaonic complex designed by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava has accumulated numerous defects over the last six years and it must close for at least two months.
Valencian architect Jose Maria Tomas Llavador found problems both inside and out in a survey commissioned by Avanqua, the company that won the tender to run the centre which, like the Oceanografic section, has also been contracted out.
The Agora has so far cost €96 million of public money and was formally opened with considerable pomp and circumstance in 2009 by the former regional president Francisco Camps. Although unfinished it was used for tennis tournaments, concerts and a Partido Popular rally. What remains to be seen is whether it can going on being used for functions like these.
Like all Calatrava creations, finishing the Agora would not come cheap. In 2011 he wanted €22 million to complete the motorised retractable roof. Even the former regional government questioned this amount and it was finally reduced to €10 million.