The observatory has provided an educational function for children. | M. Azagra

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The observatory in Costitx is up for sale. All buildings, installations and technologies are to be auctioned in order to pay off debts owed by the Majorca Astronomical Observatory Association (OAM), for which bankruptcy proceedings started in January last year.

The total auction value is a minimum of just under 1.7 million euros. If it is not possible to sell off everything, then there may well be sales of parts of the observatory complex.

The site consists of the three observation domes plus the Astroplai automated domes, the Planetarium, exhibition and projection rooms, the Astroparque with its amphitheatre and sun clocks, and the restaurant. In addition, there are all the astronomical instruments, computers, projection equipment and even the collection of meteorites.

Offers can be made up to 3 June. The administrator, Roderick Abogados, is waiting for a report from Costitx town hall about what type of activities might be permitted at the site in the event that a potential purchaser is interested in some other use.

Among the observatory's stakeholders are the regional government, the Council of Majorca, the town hall and BMN bank. The latter is the principal creditor. It loaned the association one million euros in 2011. Other creditors include the Tax Agency, social security and IT companies.

It seems somewhat unfortunate that Costitx town hall should be making the observatory a feature of its promotion (as reported yesterday), given that its future as an observatory is far from being guaranteed.