Actualitat del Síndic
The City of Orihuela is committed to the Ombudsman to protect San Agustín Church25-11-2011
The Regional Ombudsman of Valencia, José Cholbi, has received the response from Orihuela Town Councillor of Historical and Environmental Heritage, Carlos Manuel Culiáñez. His report explains the measures they have undertaken and those which will be assumed in the future to protect San Agustin Church, as the Regional Ombudsman recommended last October.
Cholbi also addressed to the Conselleria (Regional Department) of Tourism, Culture and Sport to ask that,
within the scope of its powers, to take all necessary measures to ensure protection for Bien de Relevancia Local (Property of Local Relevance) San Agustín Church. The ombudsman trusts that a satisfactory answer to his request will soon be submitted.
In his letter to the Ombudsman, the Councillor informs about
the measures already taken and those that will be taken in the future. So far, according to Culiáñez, the Town Architect has already drawn up a project with all the necessary measures
to prevent further deterioration or ruin in San Agustín Church. This document includes, among other things: the placement of a provisional cover in the sacristy, roof waterproofing system, hole filling with fine mesh and cleaning inside the building. All with a total budget of € 35,202.59. Moreover, the Town Councillor has reported to the Ombudsman that the Town Hall has planned
to provide local budgets for the coming year, currently drafting, with a suitable item in order to undertake the above works.
Among all the measures mentioned by the Councillor, we would like to highlight a future meeting between the Department of National Heritage and the Cultural Heritage Committee of the Diocesan Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante,
to discuss a possible agreement on this issue.
The Ombudsman opened this inquiry because of a citizen’s complaint, warning of the state of neglect and poor condition of San Agustín Church,
revealed in the 2008 Report of the Valencian Culture Council. According to the applicant, this church, which is closed to the public for decades, shows signs of collapse.
The City Council replied to the Ombudsman that, given the current economic crisis, the main underlying problem was on the financing of works. He added that they were developing a Sponsorship Plan
in order to get the amount and a certain number of sponsors to undertake the works. So far, they have already held profitable talks with several banks. However, the Council is aware of the need to take preventive measures while developing the Plan Sponsorship.
In his decision, Cholbi reminded the City Council and the Generalitat different rules to ensure preservation and promotion of the historical, cultural and artistic heritage of Spain. In this respect, Section 4 of the Act 4/1998 of June 11, Valencian Cultural Heritage, provides, among other things, that the Generalitat and other Valencian public administrations will work together to achieve successfully the purposes of this Act. Moreover, local authorities will be responsible for taking necessary preventative measures to avoid deterioration, loss and destruction of cultural heritage assets.
It is not the first time the Ombudsman acts in this sense in the town of Orihuela. Earlier this year, he addressed the Town Council inquiring about the state of conservation of the Tower of Embergoñes.
See full content of the Ombudsman’s decision to the City of Orihuela
See full content of the Ombudsman’s decision to the Conselleria (Regional Department) of Tourism, Culture and Sport