Crumbling Valldigna monastery res­cued af­ter years of ne­glect

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - News Staff Re­porter

FEARS about the fate of the spec­tac­u­lar Santa María de la Valldigna monastery have been as­suaged – the re­gional gov­ern­ment has em­barked on a clean­ing and restora­tion spree.

The monastery, based in Si­mat de la Valldigna – and whose or­nate ceil­ing has been com­pared favourably with that of Rome's Sis­tine Chapel – is drown­ing in weeds, its foun­tain has dried up and parts of it are crumbling due to long years with no in­vest­ment.

A lo­cal her­itage site, the monastery was main­tained by the Jaume II el Just Foun­da­tion, run by the former PPled re­gional gov­ern­ment, who started to wind it up in 2015 af­ter leav­ing it €11 mil­lion in the red.

Si­mat's mayor Víc­tor Mansanet says the right-wing party's 20-year reign in the re­gion, tainted by cor­rup­tion, pub­lic fund mis­use and gen­eral fi­nan­cial waste, left the cur­rent gov­ern­ment in Va­len­cia with no money to keep up the monastery.

But an ex­posé of the state of the com­plex in the Span­ish daily press sparked ac­tion from the re­gional her­itage author­ity, which has now started weed­ing and re­pair­ing.

A new main­te­nance firm will be taken on next year, it says.

The monastery was founded in 1298 by King Jaume II, who also named the Valldigna, or 'Fair Val­ley'.

It is a ma­jor vis­i­tor at­trac­tion on the Valldigna cir­cuit and at­tracts thou­sands of daytrip­pers into the val­ley's four towns, Si­mat, Beni­fairó, Tav­ernes and Barx.

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