The Provincial Court in Palma has agreed with an Arta town hall appeal regarding the ownership of the walls of the Sant Salvador fortification and sanctuary. The walls and the inner courtyards belong to the town and not to the church. The court has therefore overturned a ruling of a court in Manacor which had supported the church's claim and registration of these assets in 2014.
The latest ruling establishes that there are two fincas and not a single one, which is what the bishopric had argued. In arriving at its decision, the court had to go right back in time to the Madoz confiscation of 1855 - Pascual Madoz was the minister for the Hacienda - which was the last great expropriation of church assets in the nineteenth century.
The court had to consider if the Madoz confiscation affected the walls or not. Ten years after this, there was an agreement between the state and the Bishopric of Majorca about the return of assets that had not been auctioned off, but this didn't include the walls. The Provincial Court has in fact determined that the church had never actually acquired the ownership of the walls.
The Bishopric of Majorca says that it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court in Madrid.
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