The remains have been covered. | Javier Rodríguez


The remains of the late sixteenth century city wall that were revealed by work in Palma's Plaça Espanya have been covered with mortar by the company contracted to replace sewage pipes.

There has been harsh criticism from the Arca heritage association, which had demanded that the Council of Mallorca's heritage department should have been exercising "greater control" over the findings. Arca had insisted that work should stop until a true value of the remains could have been made by archaeologists. A request from Arca for there to be a "transparent structure" to keep the remains visible was ignored.

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The College of Architects in the Balearics agrees with the heritage association, it having asked for regulations to be complied with, "as is the case with all works, whether public or private". Authorities should have "guaranteed the protection and maintenance of historical heritage".

One architect, Biel Fuster, took photos which showed what he described as "the authentic destruction of the city's heritage". Last week, workers "destroyed" parts of the wall and then removed the rubble. Covering the remains with mortar, he believes, is "unfortunate and unheard of". He gives as an example works in Arta where archaeological remains were found and the project had to be modified in order to preserve them.

Palma town hall, in charge of the works, says that there is an archaeologist to advise and that the "go-ahead" had been given by all the authorities involved. The town hall adds that the work had been stopped in order to ensure that everything "complied with the regulations". The proposal for a transparent structure, in the town hall's view, was "old-fashioned". It intends to create a "footprint" to indicate the location of the wall with shading or texture change.