Lorca ‘Cortijo del Fraile’ threatened

A COLLAPSED wall at the house which inspired Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” could bring the entire building down.

The building known as Cortijo del Fraile was the true-life setting of the crime of passionate murder on which Federico Garcia Lorca based his drama.  Near Nijar, it was used during the making of the 1966 Spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well as James Coburn’s Duck, You Sucker in 1971.

But neither its past nor its status as a Listed Property (BIC) since February nor the efforts of a local cultural group will save it from imminent ruin unless immediate steps are taken.

The privately-owned building is so precarious that some of its walls and window frames are propped up by nothing more than stones, claimed Antonio Jesus Sanchez Zapata of a local group anxious to save El Cortijo del Fraile.

An architect and an archaeologist from the province’s Department of Cultural Assets went last week to inspect the property and the wall which has collapsed for reasons yet to be determined.

The estate belongs to La Mision, a Murcia-based agricultural concern, and the provincial authorities were currently discussing with the company the possibility of public ownership for the property, said the Department’s Antonio Lucas.

When the collapsed wall was discovered in April the Nijar branch of the IU political party claimed that La Mision was using the cortijo as a store, with heavy machinery frequntly going in and out of the building.

Now it was time to apply Article 15 of the regional government’s Historic Heritage Law, said IU.  This would allow the Culture Department to order the owners of Listed Properties to take whatever action was necessary for its upkeep and conservation.

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