Gaudi's Sagrada Familia fined $41 million for lack of building permit

Blanche Robertson
October 21, 2018

Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, one of Spain's most famous and visited landmarks, will pay Barcelona authorities Dollars 41 million after it was found to have been operating without a building permit for more than 130 years.

The basilica was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, and has been under construction since 1882.

"Today, the Sagrada Familia and [Barcelona city council] signed an agreement to begin the procedures to obtain the works licence of the Antoni Gaudi project", the Sagrada Família's Twitter account said. The church's trustees conceded to paying $41 million in fees over a 10-year period, so that the city can fund public transportation, increase accessibility, and make other improvements to the surrounding area.

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Despite the building's impact on the community, it has been under construction for more than a century while holding no official status and without oversight of municipal authorities, according to Spain's El Pais newspaper.

The church - with its famous mix of architectural styles, from Gothic revival to Art Nouveau, from modernism to Asian art - receives 20 million visitors every year, the city's press release states.

The Sagrada Familia's construction will finish in 2026, 100 years after Gaudí's death.

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