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Computer image of what the outside of the building will look like once complete. SUR
Axarquía village reactivates raisin museum plan
Heritage

Axarquía village reactivates raisin museum plan

The aim of the project in Almáchar is to refurbish a building for use as a space to explain the process of cultivation, production and marketing of the Axarquía Alexandria Muscatel raisin

Eugenio Cabezas

Almáchar

Wednesday, 24 January 2024, 21:30

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The village of Almáchar in the Axarquía, on the eastern side of Malaga province, is home to just 1,900 registered inhabitants, but for more than five years it has been dreaming of having museum dedicated to the Axarquía Alexandria Muscatel raisin, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recognised as an Important System of World Agricultural Heritage (SIPAM), on 19 April 2018.

The cultural and tourist project began after the FAO decision was announced and a location was identified in the form of an old olive oil cooperative. However, the works didn't get very far as, like many companies at the time, the Valencia-based Ecsa Obra Pública y Civil S. L., which had been contracted to carry out the project, quit due to rising costs just a few months after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Sources at Malaga’s provincial authority, the Diputación de Málaga, have told SUR that "it was later agreed with Almáchar town hall to modify the project and, at the moment, a new project is being drawn up by the provincial authority". Work is expected to be completed in April and the new proposal will then be presented. The sources have not been able to specify what the amount for the new, modified and updated project will be.

Great importance for the whole region

The aim of the project is to refurbish the building for use as a museum space that will guide visitors through the history and process of cultivation, production and marketing of the Axarquía grape.

The museum planned for 2021 was envisaged as a cultural facility "of great importance for the whole region" that would "serve to highlight the grape as a crop that has defined the geographical and landscape of the Axarquía". It would also show what the homes, clothing and daily life for the families who worked in the sector were like. Indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, a projection room, offices, toilets, storerooms and a shop were also planned and a terrace was planned to hold events.

The building to be refurbished has three floors and on each of the levels visitors will be offered a tour that will include learning about the countryside and the vineyard. There will be a collection of old photographs showing the raisin production process, including harvesting, drying, storage and subsequent shipment for export. Upstairs visitors will get an insight into the homes, clothing and daily life for the families working in the sector.

Work began in the summer of 2022 on a raisin study centre in Moclinejo and a visitors centre in the nearby village of El Borge, which will include the restoration of a wine press and a building to be used as a winery where wine tasting and demonstrations of the winemaking processes will be on offer.

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