Recriminations for the observatory's financial problems are now flying.

28-07-2000Archive

Companies and individuals who are creditors of the Majorca Astronomical Observatory attach sole responsibility for the observatory's debt to its director, Salvador Sánchez. Collados de la Sagra, Belauba, Jaume Andreu and José Vicente Casado, all creditors, say they feel cheated by Sánchez. Although he has acknowledged the debt, he has not fulfilled a promise to pay it.

The observatory owes them 250,000 euros, of which 61,000 are owed to their spokesperson Xisco Serra of Belauba, who worked at the observatory between 2004 and 2016. Liquidation proceedings started in 2016, with the observatory now for sale for 1.7 million euros. BMN bank is the main creditor - it is owed one million euros in respect of a 2011 loan - while the Tax Agency and social security are also owed.

Serra wants Sánchez to explain what happened to public grants over the years. He considers unjustified a call for public administrations which made these grants to now bail out the observatory.

Although the observatory was operated by the observatory association, Serra says that Sánchez took total charge. He created it but ultimately let it "sink". "There has never been any other body to monitor it."

Sánchez has not responded to this except to say that he will do what his lawyers advise him. He has, however, said that the Council of Majorca is responsible for the situation. It failed to abide by an agreement of May 2011 to create a foundation for the observatory, consisting of the association and the Council. Despite there having been full agreement and publication of this on the Official Bulletin, the Council did not create the foundation.

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Sally / Hace about 1 year

We visited a few times but found staff very unhelpful and unfriendly. Agree with the other comment it could have been a great attraction.

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Steve Riches / Hace about 1 year

A scandalous lack of care and business expertise - it should be a prime attraction making a profit and drawing thousands of people to it. We managed twice to get entrance but on all otger attempts it was inpenetrable with an atrocious lack of customer service. What has happened to all the space-rock and meteorite exhibits which were worth €millions? In theory you could book and pay for an overnight stay including use of a telescope...in practice you never even got a reply. A scandalous waste of a prime facility which essentially went into lockdown while it deteriorated into an unkempt mess.

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