A furious row has broken out over a major facelift on a thousand year old Spanish castle which has been labelled the world’s worst restoration project by locals.
Castillo de Matrera in Cádiz, which is both a listed building and an official site of cultural interest had been due to undergo restoration after part of it collapsed – but bosses decided to hire a local building firm rather than archaeological experts to carry out the work.
The sand coloured crumbling stone has now been filled in and squared off in grey concrete.
The Spanish heritage and conservation group, Hispania Nostra led the way in criticising the work saying: “The ‘consolidation and restoration’ – as the architects involved call it – [is] truly lamentable and has left locals and foreigners deeply shocked.
“Comments aren’t really necessary when you’ve seen the photographs. Foreigners have written to us saying they can’t understand why these follies – better described as heritage ‘massacres’ – still go on. And that is indeed what they are.”
Locals have been quoted as stating the ancient fortress now looks “absolutely terrible” and is “a disaster of a project’”.
However, Carlos Quevedo, the architect who oversaw the restoration, said the the project had been painstaking, professional, and legal.
“There were three basic aims behind it,” he explained. “To structurally consolidate those elements that were at risk; to differentiate new additions from the original structure – thus avoiding the imitative reconstructions that are prohibited by law; and to recover the volume, texture and tonality that the tower would originally have had.”