03-07-2017. La oposición al Centro Botín en el New York Times.

Despite its projected benefits for Santander as a tourism and culture hub, though, the building has had some ardent local critics who regard it as both a violation of city ordinances and a self-aggrandizing display of banking wealth.

Emilio Botín, the bank’s former chairman, commissioned Mr. Piano, laid the first stone in 2012, but then died in 2014 — the year that his museum was initially scheduled to open. Santander’s environmentalists and some citizen groups took the project as far as Spain’s Supreme Court, but to no avail. The plaintiffs claimed that the port and city authorities unlawfully allowed public land to be leased to a private foundation without any public bidding process.

Mr. Botín “could have chosen another place, but of course he had to put his center right in front of his own bank, on the spot where the Romans disembarked and this city was born,” said Carlos García, a former president of Arca, an environmental association, who also rejects any comparison with the Guggenheim, built in what was a run-down industrial district of Bilbao.

Fernando Merodio, a Santander lawyer, said he was ready to pursue his lawsuit before European courts against a museum project that promoted “the culture of money more than the culture of art.”

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