The Santa María church with the fortress behind it. / E. Cabezas

Vélez-Málaga council votes to request BIC status for town's oldest religious building

EUGENIO CABEZAS

Vélez-Málaga town hall has approved a proposal to take to the regional government, the Junta de Andalucía, to initiate the proceedings to register the church of Santa María de la Encarnación as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC).

It is the town's oldest church located in 'La Villa'; the original part of the town, constructed during Spain's Islamic period.

It is a Gothic-Mudéjar construction, built at the beginning of the 16th century after the Christian Reconquest on the site of one of the town's most important mosques during the Islamic period.

It is also home to the Semana Santa (Holy Week) museum, which houses costumes and artefacts used during the town's Easter celebrations. It is also often used for concerts.

Opposition councillor Jesús Lupiáñez (Partido Popular) said in a statement, "Despite its historical importance, it does not have the protection of BIC buildings."

He went on to say, "We have tried unsuccessfully in the past to include it, but so far we have not been able to do so and we are going to try again."