Amphitheatre in Soller, Mallorca with straw bales

The Soller version, under construction.

17-06-2021

Mallorcan composer Joan Valent is considering denouncing Soller town hall for plagiarising the idea of an amphitheatre featuring straw bales. "It is an attack on intellectual property," he argues, he and architect Josep Maria Puigdemasa having teamed up in creating an amphitheatre with bales for the Caiassa festival in Algaida this summer.

He is indignant that the idea has been copied, the project having won a prize for design of exterior space at an architectural event in Lleida. The jury said that it displayed the ability to work with "a material typical of the environment and without manipulation in leaving a mark on the landscape".

On Tuesday, Soller town hall announced that it is setting up an open-air amphitheatre for summer events. It has rented a plot of rustic land and will enclose it with straw bales. There will be concerts, exhibitions and other activities, the town hall's project having come from the department for economic promotion.

Valent insists that this is a "horrible copy of our straw spiral". The town hall is "copying the project without authorisation from the architect". "We have been working on the festival and the amphitheatre for ten months." This has included a meeting with President Armengol.

He adds that he has been in touch with the relevant councillor, Sebastià Aguiló, who says that he had taken up the idea from a concert in Lleida. "Other event organisers ask Josep Maria Puigdemasa for permission before replicating his amphitheatre."

Joan Valent is a former director of the Pollensa Festival. He is particularly known for his film scores.

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