On Wednesday,
13 February, 2013 I blogged about the proposal to raise ten sites related to
the life and works of Federico Lorca to the status of “cultural assets” as part
of a project the purpose of which is to protect them against material deterioration
and ultimately their irretrievable loss (#post30) and so preserve them for
posterity (and commercial exploitation).

Of those
ten proposals, seven have finally won official recognition by the Junta’s
(regional government’s) Cultural Commission and are now “Assets of Cultural
Interest”.

Of those
three sites that have been left out, perhaps the most alarming case is that of
the Cortijo del Fraile in Níjar,
Almería, scene of the events that inspired Bodas de sangre, which I
reported then as being in very poor condition after years of neglect and abandonment. From what I
understand from José Miguel Muñoz’s article in El País dated 3 November 2013,
source of the new information passed on here, this site had already been
granted cultural asset status in 2011 under the authority of the province of Almería.
Without much positive effect, though, in spite of the fact that its owners have
already been fined for not fulfilling their obligation to maintain it and
prevent its deterioration. So it is to fear that the official declaration of
cultural asset status might be ineffectual in the face of private owners more
concerned with material costs than with the prevention of cultural loss.

In this respect, it is possibly relevant than all three of the
excluded sites are in private ownership.

The other two are Acera del Darro, 46, family home in Granada between 1909 and 1916, and
the Cortijo de Daimuz Alto,
Valderrubio, where the poet’s younger brother recalls his “earliest childhood
memories”. The former has been incorporated in the next door Hotel Montecarlo
and has undergone significant modifications, although the original entrance – I
am assured – remains, as well as the staircase and “part of the patio”. As for
the Cortijo de Daimuz, it was bought by people very sympathetic to Lorca and
looks to be thriving, in much better condition than when I first saw it, some
20 years ago.

As for the seven officially sanctioned sites only
one is in private hands: the Huerta
del Tamarit
, on the Vega, quite close to the Huerta
de San Vicente, near the River Genil, on the other side of the ring road. It
was threatened by proposed road construction not so long ago (see blog post19),
but is safe now. It belonged to Francisco García
Rodríguez, father of the poet’s cousin Clotilde García Picossi, and Lorca was a
frequent visitor, eternalising its name of course in his late poetry collection
El diván del Tamarit (completed
in the summer of 1934). I believe it remains in the family.

The greatest beneficiary of its new cultural asset status may well be the House of Frasquita
– or Bernarda – Alba
in Valderrubio. Until
1997 it was still home to the Alba family who vehemently turned away the
curious. After a decade of negotiations with the family, in which time the
house was allowed to deteriorate badly, it was bought and taken over by a
public consortium which has undertaken to restore it and convert it into
a museum. (A museum of what, I wonder.)

Already
established and functioning as relevant referents to the life and works of
Granada’s greatest son are his birthplace in Fuente Vaqueros (Casa-museo), which opened its doors to the public
in 1986. Link to site in Spanish. In English.

and the Huerta de San Vicente, which started
operating in 1995. Spanish link. English.

More recently, the family home in Valderrubio was rehabilitated and now contributes to
the cultural life of the local community while keeping alive the memory of
Federico and his works. Spanish link. Link to site in English. Lorca’s father purchased it in 1895, along with
the Cortijo de Daimuz and various other properties in Valderrubio, with his
late wife’s money. It became the hub of his extensive agricultural operations
and of vital importance to the poet’s development. A stone’s throw away is the Fuente de la Teja, on the banks of the
Cubillas River, and fourth of the Valderrubio sites, further evidence of the importance of this village in the making of the poet.

The tenth and last proposal for cultural asset status is the Camino de Fuente Grande, the road that
runs between Víznar and Alfacar, from the Palacio de Cuzco to the Fuente Grande
(Aynadamar) itself, following the Moorish
irrigation canal past Las Colonias, the Barranco de Viznar, and the Parque
García Lorca. Of this proposal, only a part has been included in the final plan;
that is the Colonias, the remains of the building, previously
used as a children’s holiday colony, in which the poet was one of the many
victims held for several hours before being taken out to face the firing squad
that murdered them.

It is unfortunate that the rest of the route
between Víznar and Alfacar was excluded from
the project, not least because it is the site of such a great number of summary
executions like Lorca’s and the unmarked graves of so many victims of the
nationalist uprising that triggered the Spanish Civil War.

Now that these chosen places have been granted
cultural asset status, the aim of the Junta is to harness them in a cultural
tourism project that will make “what Granada is to Lorca the same as what Dublin
is to James Joyce” – in the words of Ana Gámez, the Junta’s delegate of Culture
in Granada.

Below: Viznar “ruta del Califato” sign + Aynadamar (Fuente Grande)

ABOVE: restoration of Las Colonias