Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spanish Judge Investigates Calatrava

Note: For an update on this entry, see 03.03.11 post.

After a number of ongoing investigations into major political corruption scandals related to the Spanish building boom, a well-known architect has been indicted as a suspected participant in one case.

News is still scarce, but the suspect is Santiago Calatrava, whose 1.2 million euro fee for the design of an opera in Palma de Mallorca in 2007 has raised the suspicions of Judge José Castro, reports the Barcelona newspaper El Periódico (December 31, in Spanish). The judge is investigating the regional President at the time, Jaume Matas, for 25 cases of illegal bribes, kick-backs and other schemes for robbing public funds.

Architects like Calatrava and Peter Eisenman have collected exaggerated fees for their work in Spain, as Llàtzer Moix documents in his recent book Arquitectura Milagrosa. But this does not imply that Calatrava participated in the corruption in Mallorca. He is of course presumed innocent, and the court's investigation remains secret until an official trial, if any, is undertaken.

Photo: The real crime here is aesthetic. Model of Calatrava's proposed opera in Palma de Mallorca, 2007. Source: Diario de Mallorca.

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