surinenglish

Musical performances inside Nerja Cave are to be stopped

Rocio Molina performing inside the cave last Friday.
Rocio Molina performing inside the cave last Friday. / EUGENIO CABEZAS
  • Politicians highlighted the importance of conserving the Neolithic tourist attraction but haven't ruled out occasional events being held there

Last Saturday's performance by Concerto Málaga could be the last live event of its kind to take place inside the Nerja cave.

On Sunday, as the 60th International Festival of Music and Dance drew to an end, the cave's managing foundation announced that there would be no more performances inside the Neolithic cavern itself, for "conservation" purposes.

The caves, which were discovered by five young boys playing in the area exactly 60 years ago this year, have hosted the international festival since 1959 and there have been performances within the caves every year. In 2016 the decision was taken to have fewer performances and instead use the outdoor auditorium to the left of the cave, in the surrounding gardens.

This year just two of the festival's performances took place inside; Torre del Mar-born dancer Rocio Molina last Friday and Concerto Málaga, who ended their performance with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Salzburg Symphony No. 1.

Vice-president of the Nerja cave foundation and mayor of Nerja, José Alberto Armijo, said on Monday, "We are not ruling out performances for special occasions inside the caves, but strict guidelines and direction would have to be followed." He added that there would be more live performances on the Balcón de Europa and Plaza de España as well as the cave's gardens.

President of the foundation and Malaga's central government representative, María Gamez, said that the cave was "incomparable" as a stage, but that "conservation" as well as "safety" must come first, in order to "preserve the caves for future generations."