Business & Economy

Port of Barcelona approves license for Hermitage project

Barcelona, May 27 (EFE).- The board of directors of the Port of Barcelona has approved a license for the development of a museum and cultural center promoted by the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg and the Catalan capital’s Teatre del Liceu.

The city council, which voted against the proposal because it wanted more time to consider the project, is already considering legal action.

The construction of the cultural center promoted by the Hermitage in the area known as Nova Bocana, designed by Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito, would involve private investment of some 50 million euros and generate some 380 jobs, according to a study by the Municipal Institute of Culture.

The concession will create “a new, international meeting point for art, design and culture,” according to a press release.

“Housed in a world-class building designed by Pritzker-prize winning Japanese architect, Toyo Ito, the Hermitage Barcelona is expected to be inaugurated in 2024.

“The Hermitage Barcelona is conceived to serve the citizens of Catalonia and the wider international community, enriching the region’s vibrant cultural heritage and expanding the city’s reputation on the global stage as a center of cross-cultural collaboration,” the statement added.

Despite approving the license, the Port of Barcelona has set a deadline of two months for a joint proposal to be submitted between the Hermitage Museum and the Liceu, which recently joined the project, and for an agreement to be approved between the port and the Barcelona city council.

Among other requirements, the Port is asking the licensee to ensure that the modern building designed by Ito is environmentally friendly that meets sustainability standards, including the optimization of energy and water consumption and a significant reduction in operating and maintenance costs.

The director of the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Mikhail Piotrovsky, said that the green light given by the board of directors of the Port of Barcelona to the project is “good news” and “another step towards the construction of a wonderful new building”, even though local authorities, including the mayor’s office, have requested more time to review.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Piotrovski said that “the project will place Barcelona as an attractive center of confluence between Mediterranean culture and the historical background of the prestigious Russian museum.” EFE

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