Artists Conservation Spain

Chillida's Canary Islands cave sculpture still on hold

Local officials looking for €75m in private funding to convert a mountain into a gigantic work of art

Eduardo Chillida in front of Tindiya

Local officials are continuing to seek €75m in private funding to convert a mountain in the Canary Islands into a gigantic sculpture by the late Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida, despite recent legal setbacks. The project has been in development since 1994, eight years before Chillida’s death.

The High Court of Canarias recently classified Tindiya, the mountain on Fuerteventura on which Chillida’s massive cave would be built, as “Bien de Interés Cultural” (heritage of cultural interest), El País reports. This status protects sites with ancient remains and pre-Hispanic stone carvings. Tindiya is already a natural monument; officials are now working to define the limits of its new status and how they will relate to the proposed project.

The court order means plans will stay on hold for the two to three months required for the government to update the scope of the site’s protection and report on its conservation status.

The Fuerteventura authorities maintain that Chillida’s project does not interfere with the carvings and has taken “sufficient precautions to avoid uncontrolled actions” that could affect their preservation. But, as The Art Newspaper reported in 2011, the environmental group Ben Magec—Ecologists in Action is concerned that excavating 64,000 cubic metres of rock to build a ten-storey cave just 70 metres from the carvings “presents a significant threat to these etchings”.

Inside the mountain if Chillida's sculpture is realised
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