ecuador blog

ecuador blog

About this blog

News and comments and events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible, Granada, 'la bella y la bestia, and Federico Garcia Lorca's complicated love-hate relationship with the city, etc


The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Sun, February 05, 2017 20:10:02

The inauguration of the Lorca Centre was planned with great pomp and ceremony for 2011. A fantastic programme was announced, which I don’t like to think about now. Have a look, for example, at #post16, dated 30 Jan 2011. The declared aim was to make the Centre ‘one of the most important cultural assets’ in Spain with ‘a programme of activities of international relevance’.

Thanks to the fraudulent actions of Juan Tomás, it was not to be. (See previous #post57.) When the Centre was finally opened in 2015, it was a low-key affair without pomp, without ceremony, and without the legacy.

In the meantime, it has organised some quite interesting events, of which I would like to mention a couple I have attended.

From 27 October to 15 December 2016 they ran a Silent Movie Cycle. I managed to get to see for my first time Carl Theodor Dreyer’s La passion de Jeanne d’Arc of 1928, with live piano accompaniment by Jose Ignacio Hernandez. Brilliant! This was originally shown at the Residencia de Estudiantes Film Club, its third and final session, on 14 December 1928.

I missed Le Chien Andalou (1929) which I’ve seen a couple of times anyway. But it was on in a double bill with Jean Renoir’s 1924 film La fille de l’eau. I have loved the Renoir films that I have seen and would have liked to have seen this one.

I did see the Charlie Chaplin double bill The Immigrant (1917) and The Gold Rush (1925) which both lived up to their reputation. This was part of the sixth session of the Spanish Film Club, shown at the Goya Cinema on 4 May 1929.

On Tuesday 7 February I’m going to see a showing of Omega, a documentary about the making of the album of the same name recorded in 1996 by flamenco singer Enrique Morente and the local rock band Lagartija Nick featuring songs and poems by Lorca and Leonard Cohen with an amazing supporting line-up of musicians. The album is a milestone in the history of the fusion of flamenco and rock. It looks very promising.

  • Comments(0)//


The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Sun, February 05, 2017 15:39:53

We have talked about the Granada Metro, the AVE (high-speed train), and the international airport as fairly ambitious projects that are taking rather a long time to realise. What we haven’t discussed is the time it’s taking for Lorca’s ‘Legacy’ to arrive in his native city. Lorca’s Legacy refers to an archive consisting of over 2,000 sheets of original manuscripts, thousands of other documents, original drawings, musical scores and photographs, all of them relating to the poet’s work and life. This archive has been until now safely looked after at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid.

This archive, we are assured, will be transferred from Madrid to the purpose-built Lorca Centre in time for the 119th anniversary of the poet’s birth on 5 June 2017.

The last time I referred to the Lorca Centre was on 24 October 2013, #post41, when I reported: ‘The workmen have moved in. To finish the job. It's actually happening.’ An agreement had finally been reached between the State (Spain), the Autonomous Region (Andalusia), the City of Granada, and the Province as to how to finance the 4.5 million euros overspent above and beyond the original budget. These additional costs, we were told, corresponded to ‘unforeseen expenses’ which arose during the execution of the work between 2007 and 2013.

The 4.5 million euro deficit that delayed the opening of the Centre for such a long time corresponds pretty exactly to the amount that was embezzled by the Lorca Foundation’s secretary Juan Tomás Martín, who had been entrusted to handle the finances by the president, Laura García, the poet’s neice, daughter of brother Francisco.

So, you might say that it was because of this Juan Tomás that the inauguration of the Centre was delayed from 2008 till 2015.

Pictures: con-man and victim

Does it bode well for the transfer of Lorca’s Legacy from the Residence of Students in Madrid where they have remained safe since 1986 to the Lorca Centre in Granada where corruPSOE crooks like Juan Tomás are on the lookout to take advantage of the gullible to fill their own pockets? My gut feeling is: leave it there, where it has been safe for so long. I cannot say I feel overconfident about this invaluable legacy being held in what still seems to be the land of the ‘chavico’.

Sources: Ángles Peñalver Ideal Granada 4 Mar 2016; R. G. Sevilla, Granada Hoy 18 Jan 2017

  • Comments(0)//

The Lorca Centre

The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Thu, October 24, 2013 12:55:13
The workmen have moved in. To finish the job.
Photo taken from Granada Hoy 22/10. "Los operarios volvieron ayer a trabajar en el Centro Lorca, del que ya se han retirado las vallas." It's actually happening.

  • Comments(0)//

The Lorca Centre

The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Fri, October 11, 2013 17:04:11

The Lorca Centre – to be finished by June 2014. Honest!

Work is being resumed on the Lorca Centre and it will be finished by June. That is actually what I blogged in October 2010. But this time - it’s true!

Even Laura García-Lorca (President of the Garcia Lorca Foundation) – who has good reason to be sceptical - is sure that this time work will go ahead and the Centre will be opened in time for the 116th anniversary of the poet’s birth on 5 June 2014. But, in July 2010, Laura García-Lorca was equally confident that the difficulties that negotiations were going through then would soon be resolved. Because all parties involved were making a great effort and working with total commitment towards a solution, she said. But for all their good will, those difficulties were not overcome.

"I am totally convinced (this time),” she said, “that today – 7 October 2013 - the problem of financing the Lorca Centre has been resolved and that we will soon see it open for business”.

The problem then as now was a hole of 5 million Euros that the original budget had not foreseen. The parties have finally agreed that the extra costs will be borne as follows: the State (Spain) 30%; the Autonomous Region (Andalusia) 30%; the City of Granada 30%; and the Province of Granada 10%. Was that so difficult?The Lorca Centre, March 2013; pretty much as it was in October 2010 []

So, will 7 October 2013 go down in history as the date of the breakthrough, when the Centro Lorca finally got its definitive go-ahead? Or will it be a repeat of 8 March 2007, when it was falsely announced that the Centre would open its doors to the public before the end of 2008; or of 1 July 2011, when March 2012 was scheduled for the official opening?

In view of the history and the trouble Granada is famed for having in turning its dream into reality, it’s hard not to be cynical, especially for one like me, who finds it easy to be cynical.

Acknowledgements to G. Cappa, Granada Hoy, 08.10.2013

  • Comments(0)//

June 5: Granada still without its Lorca Centre!

The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Thu, June 09, 2011 21:26:10

The lacking 4.5 million Euros preventing the opening of the Centre that I first wrote about in post #4 last October are still lacking, seven months on.

Work on completing the building had come to a standstill because of the missing 3.5 million of additional costs corresponding to ‘unforeseen expenses’ which arose during the execution of the work. Another million was required for the ambitious inauguration programme. Raising the missing millions did not seem like an insurmountable problem at the time.

Indeed, in July last year, Laura García-Lorca, the poet’s niece and President of the Garcia Lorca Foundation, expressed her confidence that, in spite of the difficult phase that negotiations were going through, difficulties would be resolved by the end of the month. Because all parties were making a great effort and working with total commitment towards a solution. Not by the end of the month nor by the end of the year could those difficulties be overcome.

Coinciding with the celebration of the 113th anniversary of the poet’s birth on June 5 with events in Fuente Vaqueros (Granada), Madrid, New York, Havana and Buenos Aires, she voiced her frustration and desperation: “It’s unbelievable; the Lorca Centre should never have been a problem.” Now she sees no certainty that the work will be finished by the end of 2011, nor are there any guarantees for 2012! The inauguration programme had been suspended and a good part of it was now irretrievable. The ambitious theatre projects, the Poet in New York programme, the Dalí exhibition, - it will all have to be scrapped and re-thought.

The Opening of the Lorca Centre had originally been planned for 5 June 2010 and the financing of the project was being shared between institutions of local, regional, and central government. Laura Garcia-Lorca is no longer confident that the political will is there for a speedy solution to the problem. “They’ve been saying for a year now that an agreement could be reached next week, or in two weeks, so how can you go on taking them seriously?” She does not question the good intentions of those involved, but somewhere along the line these intentions are being undermined, or betrayed.

Will the Centre be opened in time for the 114th anniversary of the poet’s birth? I wouldn’t put any money on it!

Granada, Lorca’s city of contemplation, where 2 + 2 never get to equal 4, where wonderful dreams never quite come off and brilliant ideas are easily born, but never get converted into reality, and 2 + 2 remain eternally just a fascinating possibility, on the very verge of what will surely be splendid consummation. But never is!

  • Comments(0)//

The Lorca Centre (reprise)

The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Sun, January 30, 2011 21:35:15

It would be almost tragic if it wasn’t so farcical. Last October I blogged the proximate inauguration of the Lorca Centre in Granada, being built to house under one roof all the source material related to the poet’s legacy that has hitherto been in the care of the Garcia Lorca Foundation and the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid.

After delays caused by the wrangling among the participating financial backers in central, autonomous regional, provincial and local urban government I reported how an agreement had happily been reached and announced the Centre’s forthcoming inauguration on an unspecified date ‘early’ next year. That’s this year.

The inauguration programme contained great things, including an impressive exhibition around Poet in New York, with a staging of the pre-publication readings Lorca used to give throughout the 1930s; another exhibition on Dalí, Lorca y la Residencia de Estudiantes; performances of How Five Years Pass, a play written straight after the poet’s New York experience, directed by Claudio Tolcachir; and a work fusing Lorca’s unfinished play Comedy without a Title with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under the directorship of Juan Carlos Corazza. (See #post4.)

In view of my knowledge and experience of Lorca’s Granada, the Granada of contemplation, dreams, and inertia, of grand projects that fail to come off, I should have refrained from such boldness in my blogging.

January 2011 and the problem of the 4 million euro shortfall in the Centre’s financing still has not been resolved and the construction company Ferrovial has refused to complete the building before the money is on the table. [Elena Llompart / Granada Hoy / 21.01.2011.]

In an attempt to save something of the inaugural programme, the Garcia Lorca Foundation has stepped in to ensure that at least a production of Comedy without a Title/A Midsummer Night’s Dream is put on at the de Caja Granada’s new Teatro Isidoro Máiquez on 11 and 12 February.

But there is nowhere it seems to host the Dalí - Lorca exhibition which was due to open in the Lorca Centre when it closes in Madrid on 6 February. And as long as the financial backers fail to reach an agreement over how to summon up the missing millions the Centre and its inauguration programme face an uncertain future. [Elena Llompart / Granada Hoy / 22.01.2011]

I finished my last blog on this topic: Look out for news on the opening dates! I might have added as I do now: But don’t hold your breath!

  • Comments(0)//

The Lorca Centre

The Lorca CentrePosted by Simon Wed, October 20, 2010 23:36:49

The Lorca Centre is being built in Granada to house under one roof all the source material related to the poet’s legacy that has hitherto been in the care of the Garcia Lorca Foundation and the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid. It includes close to 5.000 original Lorca manuscripts, plus around 3.000 by other authors, as well as fifty or so of the poet’s original drawings, together with others by contemporary artists such as Salvador Dalí, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz or Ismael de la Serna.

With an 18.5 million Euro budget, the Centre was supposed to open in December this year, but early in 2010 a shortfall of 4.5 million came to light, leading to wrangling among the participating financial backers: in central, autonomous regional, provincial and local urban government! Work came to a standstill until an agreement was reached at the end of the summer. The opening was put back to an unspecified date ‘early’ next year.

3.5 million of the additional costs correspond to ‘unforeseen expenses’ which arose during the execution of the work. These costs will be born equally by the four government departments. One million arise from a programme of activities to launch the Centre, which will be paid for by central government.

This inauguration programme has now been announced and it is pretty impressive. The declared aim is to make the Centre ‘one of the most important cultural assets’ in Spain with ‘a programme of activities of international relevance’. They’re certainly getting off on the right foot. At the centre of the opening programme is an exhibition about Lorca’s poetry collection Poet in New York. The Foundation’s collection of manuscripts will be supplemented by others held by the Morgan Library of New York and the Library of Boston, and by private collectors. Relevant works by other authors will also be a part of the exhibition.

A staging of the readings Lorca used to give of Poet in New York will be directed by Pepa Gamboa. Throughout the 30s, Lorca used to give readings of the individual poems of the collection with commentaries and explanations to demystify them and make them accessible to a wider audience. In this work the poems will be illustrated by means of word, music and dance.

The less well known play How Five Years Pass will also be staged as part of the inauguration programme. This work was written straight after Poet in New York and has many thematic links to the poetry collection. It is undoubtedly a key work in Lorca’s artistic production. It will be directed by the 35-year-old Argentinean director/playwright/actor/producer Claudio Tolcachir.

Finally, a production of the unfinished play called Comedy without a Title will be put on under the direction of Juan Carlos Coraza. This is another powerful and crucial work in the poet’s literary output. In this production, the director intends to develop the ‘play within the play’, which is none other than Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This play in itself holds out another key to understanding Lorca’s life’s work.

All in all, a programme of great relevance that looks like making the Centre a true asset in the cultural life of the country. Look out for news on the opening dates!

Source: Granada Hoy 3/9/10 & 13/7/10

  • Comments(0)//