Barcelona to open Woody Allen Museum

It has museums devoted to Dali, Picasso and Miro but now Barcelona is set to honour an artist of a different kind, by opening the first museum dedicated exclusively to Woody Allen.

Barcelona to open Woody Allen Museum
Woody Allen, who is to be honoured with a museum about his life and work in Barcelona. Photo: Thomas Samson.

The work of the New York director, who chose the Catalan capital as the location for his Oscar-winning 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, will be the focus of a new cultural centre.

The Woody Allen Centre, as it is to be called, is only in the first stage of planning, but will be established in La Llotja, a  former school of arts and crafts that has fallen into disuse, according to a report on Catalan’s TV3 channel.

The project is the dreamchild of Mediapro group, whose founder Jaume Roures is a personal friend of Allen’s and the producer of three of his films.

A spokesman from the media giant confirmed to The Local: "The Woody Allen project is under discussion but I can’t say more yet."

The neoclassical building that will house the Woody Allen Centre dates from 1883 and is located in the historic Gothic quarter of Barcelona.

Barcelona City Hall have yet to green light the project which is expected to take two years to complete.

The prolific director has already been immortalized in Oviedo; with a bronze lifesize statue placed of him in a bustling shopping street. The Asturian capital was also used as a location in the Vicky Cristina Barcelona film.

The movie reunited Spanish stars Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, who won an Academy Award for her role as the emotionally unbalanced María Elena. 

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Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?

Around 10,000 people demonstrated against the expansion of the El Prat airport in Barcelona on Sunday.

Why has the expansion of Barcelona airport prompted mass protests?
People march during a demonstration against the expansion of the Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo: Pau BARRENA / AFP

Several ecological and agricultural organisations, have demanded that the expansion be stopped due to the fact nearby wetlands and farms would have to be destroyed.

The demonstration took place on Calle Tarragona in the Catalan capital between Plaça d’Espanya and Plaça dels Països Catalans.

The protests still took place, even though last week, Spain suspended the €1.7 billion airport expansion project, citing differences with the Catalan government, after president Pere Aragonès said he wanted to avoid destroying La Ricarda lagoon, a natural reserve next to the airport. 

Environmentalists decided not to call off the march, in case plans for the airport expansion still went ahead.

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about Barcelona airport’s €1.7 billion planned expansion

Political representatives from ERC, En Comú Podem and the CUP also attended, as well as the leader of Más País, Íñigo Errejón; the Deputy Mayor for Ecology of the Barcelona City Council, Janet Sanz, and the Mayor of El Prat de Llobregat, Lluís Mijoler.

People from neighbourhoods across the city marched towards Calle Tarragona and could be seen holding placards that read Nature yes, airport no and shouting slogans such as “More courgettes and fewer planes” and “Fighting for the climate, health, and life”. 

One of the largest groups of people were those from El Prat de Llobregat, the municipality which is home to the airport, who were led by tractors. 

People march during a demonstration against the expansion of Barcelona-El Prat airport. Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP

In addition to protesting against the expansion of the El Prat airport, people were also demonstrating against the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees and extensions to airports in Mallorca and Madrid. 

A representative of Zeroport, Sara Mingorría said “We are here to defend not only La Ricarda, but the entire Delta”. 

The philosopher Marina Garcés also argued that the expansion of the airport would mean “more borders, more mass tourism, more control and more precarious jobs.” 

The leader of the commons in the Catalan parliament, Jéssica Albiach, who also attended the protest, asked the PSOE for “coherence”: “You cannot be passing a law against climate change and, at the same time, defend the interests of Aena [the airport operations company]”, she said. 

She also urged the leader of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, to “definitely say no. 

If the airport expansion in Barcelona goes ahead, environmentalists say that CO2 emissions would rise by a minimum of 33 percent. These levels would surpass the limits set by the Catalan government’s climate targets.