Curious case of stolen cave art bugs Vall de Gallinera
A quarter of a century on, the prehistoric paintings have never been found
By Samantha Kett VALL de Gallinera residents are calling for a bizarre 25year-old theft inquiry to be reopened and say they have not given up on finding their lost treasures.
Unknown individuals hacked out two perfect squares from a cave wall in Benirrama, one of the tiny residential 'clusters' that make up the Vall de Gallinera village spread across the valley of the same name.
These squares featured paintings of Neolithic huntergatherers, believed to have been created over 7,000 years ago he anonymous thieves used a radial saw to get the pictures out of the rocky wall, which even involved having to carry a generator up the cliff face.
Head of Alicante University's faculty of prehistoric studies, Dr Mauro Hernández, discovered the missing images in May 1993 and reported them to Dénia court.
The professor will be giving one of a series of talks this weekend (November 10 and 11) run by the Friends of the Vall de Gallinera Cultural Union on cave art and prehistoric society in the mountains of Diània, as the district covering the inland Marina Alta and eastern Alcoià i Comtat were known in Roman times.
Members of the Cultural Union are keen to quiz Dr Hernández on the investigations carried out 25-and-ahalf years ago and to find out how they can get the case reopened. T The tap water contract signed between Orihuela council and the company Hidraqua signed in 1988 and all its renewals are being investigated by a judge due to a report submitted to the prosecution service by the Cambiemos Orihuela party. Cambiemos Orihuela councillors Javier Gracia and Carlos Bernabé pointed out that Hidraqua was named Aquagest a few years ago and they are the same company. They revealed that the contract had been renewed for 10 years in 2001 and in 2004 it had been renewed again for 20 years until 2038, which ‘is very odd’. The councillors highlighted that tap water price increases and the company’s profits were ‘unclear’ and that funding to repair, improve and extend the exist. ing tap water and sewage network had been carried out in an ‘unclear way’. “The money comes from the fees homeowners pay, but the works are not supervised by the council,” they said. The judge has ordered the council to submit copies of a series of documents to the court and warned that the preliminary investigation has been launched. “We hope the council produce the documents and do not hinder the investigation,” said the councillors.
Photo: Angel García