Malaga Roman Theatre not yet adapted for the disabled

LESS than two weeks before its first function, Malaga’s newly restored Roman theatre is not yet wheelchair friendly.

For two years Malaga council and people with mobility problems have been asking the Junta to substitute steps at the entrance with a ramp and to cover the existing gravel path with a wooden gangway. 

The region’s Culture department, which insists that this is technically unviable owing to heritage legislation, has in turn been accused of “lack of goodwill” by the Ayuntamiento over its reluctance to improve disabled access.

“This is a question of common decency towards the disabled,” maintained Raul Lopez, Malaga’s Accessibility and Mobility councillor.  It was imperative to solve the problem, he said, and although restoring the theatre had taken 20 years, features like these had still been overlooked.

While recognising that accessibility regulations could not always be followed to the letter in some circumstance, he said he did not understand why it should be so difficult to install a ramp when it had been possible to build new steps.

Manuel Garcia, the province’s Culture delegate, failed to view the problem in the same light as the Ayuntamiento. Accessibility directives had been punctiliously observed, he claimed, rejecting accusations of inattention to detail on the Junta’s part.

Furthermore, Garcia added, continuing the ramps would entail unacceptable modifications to the restoration.  “The Romans did not have accessibility issues in mind when they built their theatres,” he said.

Malaga City Hall has announced that it plans to send the Junta a project with proposal on how to make the Theatre accessible to the disabled.

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