The observatory in Costitx appears to have no future. | Archive

Time has all but run out for the observatory in Costitx. From tomorrow, the procedure for the sale of the physical assets belonging to the Majorca Astronomical Observatory association will start. The building, the domes, the planetarium, the telescopes, the cafeteria and fixtures are all up for sale. The administrator is seeking at least 1.7 million euros, the amount that is owed to creditors.

The whole centre was put on the market for 1.7 million six months ago. There hasn't been a single offer. The Council of Majorca has been blamed by the association for the observatory's bankruptcy. The Council blames the association.

The Council's involvement with the observatory has been through grants that it has provided. Once it became evident that further financial aid couldn't be justified, the grants stopped, although the Council has continued with some funding.

It has been suggested that the Council might step in and take over the observatory. However, the culture department says that there has been no meeting with the administrator and that no one has been in contact with it in order to discuss a possible rescue. There is no obligation for the Council to mount a rescue. It isn't a creditor and nor is it a patron. The department adds that it is open to listening to proposals but stresses that nothing has been put on the table for it to consider. Moreover, if there were any possibility of the Council taking an active role, it would be necessary to assess whether the observatory has a feasible future.