New Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre begins being built in Portbou

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the German philosopher's death, the Costa Brava Town Hall announced that work on the Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre will start at the end of this year. Portbou is the sea town next to the French border where the

Mireia Sánchez

July 1, 2010 12:38 AM

Barcelona (CNA).- Building work at the new Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre in Portbou (Alt Empordà) will start at the end of this year. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of his death, the Town Hall has given further details about the construction of the centre dedicated to the international exhibition of the German philosopher’s life. The centre will be built in the old town hall building of Portbou and will have a permanent exhibition, a library and rooms for young people and artists.

Building work at the Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre in Portbou, at the northern tip of the Costa Brava, now has an official date. After years of waiting, the Town Hall has presented the terms of the project. According to local architect Pere Masó, the building work will start at the end of this year and will involve the restoration of the old Portbou town hall building where the centre will be housed.

Building work at the old town hall –abandoned from 1960 onwards- will be carried out in stages. The first stage will be dedicated to reinforcing the original structure. Gradually, the different rooms of the building will be repaired until the works are completed in 2012.

The new remembrance centre dedicated to the German philosopher will have multi-faceted functions. A museum room will act as a venue for permanent exhibitions about Walter Benjamin’s life and his work towards the 'borders to freedom'. In the old meeting room, there will be an information centre, a reading room and a library. The centre will also have a room for conferences, young people and artists.

The aim of the Walter Benjamin Remembrance Centre is to recover the heritage of the German thinker, who committed suicide in Portbou in 1940 while escaping from Nazis. According to the mayor of Portbou, Antoni Vega, the centre will be a very important tourist attraction and cultural reference for the town. The centre will further strengthen links between Walter Benjamin and the town of Portbou.