Hermitage drops Barcelona project after local council's constant opposition

City is focused on developing Liceu opera hall's second site along seafront

Image of the Hermitage museum project in Barcelona (by Hermitage)
Image of the Hermitage museum project in Barcelona (by Hermitage) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 29, 2022 01:00 PM

Barcelona will not have its Hermitage museum – at least in the short, mid-term.

The company in charge of the project, Hermitage Museum Barcelona – mostly owned by a Swiss-Luxembourgian investment fund called Varia –, has dropped its plans after facing several years of opposition by the local council, led by left-wing, anti-austerity Ada Colau.

The entity is no longer spending more money on developing the project, as first published by 'El País' newspaper and confirmed by the Catalan News Agency (ACN) on Friday, and is now instead focusing on legal disputes against the Barcelona local government.

The challenge opened in court revolves around the council's decision to reject signing a contract that would have allowed the construction of the museum.

The premises where Hermitage was planned are owned by Barcelona's port – a facility run by the Spanish government –, which in May 2021 allowed the works, as long as a contract including the local council was signed. Two days later, the institution led by Colau declined getting involved.

While rejecting the project – keeping the stance taken for years –, deputy mayor Janet Sanz suggested that they could rethink their position if local entities were also involved in the project.