Council says that Malaga Cathedral doesn't need its second tower

Finishing the building would be step too far, says the council.
Finishing the building would be step too far, says the council. / S. SALAS
  • A lobby group and the Diocese of Malaga wanted to start raising funds to "finish" the eighteenth- century west front

A group lobbying for a second tower for Malaga's cathedral has been left disappointed after the city council rejected its request, saying it didn't consider that the building was "unfinished", as the campaigning association had claimed.

Malaga's cathedral is famously nicknamed "the one armed lady" as only one of the two towers envisioned for its west front was ever built.

Original eighteenth-century plans show a second tower and extra roofing and cornicing. However, as legend has it and tour guides love to explain, the money was diverted to help the Spanish against the British during the American wars of independence. More accurately, the budget was probably used to improve local roads. This has not prevented periodic attempts to add in a tower ever since.

In May last year the diocese and the Associación Ciudadana Málaga por su Catedral, a friends of the cathedral-style group, asked the city planning department to rule that the building was legally unfinished, which would have forced the owners, the Catholic Church, to complete the second tower and other missing elements. The plan was to form a fundraising foundation to collect money for the work.

After the council failed to reply, the group began legal action in June this year. However the council has at last published its decision.

Its report rejects the legal requirement to finish it, explaining in detail why the request is exaggerated. "It would mean extra work for cultural reasons that would go far beyond normal conservation rules," it said, adding that the building is a listed building as it stands with no need for any changes.