Local News (16th August 2018)

Son Real Looting

Archaeologists working at the site of Son Real’s necropolis have warned that the site will be ruined if not gradually by the sea, then by people invading the area, holding rituals and even raiding the sealed tombs.   

Located in Santa Margalida, there are signs that this unique archaeological site has already fallen victim to looting. Experts say that in one of three tombs discovered during the recent dig and that are still closed, there are signs and excavation holes that indicate clear signs of plundering. At two specific points there were signs that the soil had been removed. Fortunately as they dug deeper, the volunteers discovered a slab which would have hindered the tombraiders from reaching inside. 

Sadly, there is another case where an empty Doritos packet was found in one of the tombs being excavated. Clearly someone was there who shouldn’t have been and he or she was clearly there around the year 2000 because of the expiry date of the Doritos.

One of the archaeologists told press that “pillaging these tombs is a huge loss for science, at the same time there’s no benefit of this plundering, for example, a Roman oil lamp, like one found in Pol·lentia (Alcúdia), make some €20 on the black market, is it worth it? “

The problem is that the site is accessible throughout the year and that, except for the excavation season, it is not monitored. Anyone can wander on the ancient stones, freely. 

Santa Margalida Mayor, Joan Monjo, maintains that the problem lies in the fact that “there are too many administrations with jurisdiction in the place. The physical property belongs to the State because it is in a public domain but the Consell oversees the heritage, and the government is involved because the estate of Son Real is their property.” Any solution then depends on all authorities agreeing on how it should be managed. The archaeologists, meanwhile, are clear that action needs to be taken as soon as possible and that the best way is to create a consortium, as was done in Pollentia, Alcudia.

 

Pollentia Roman City to Grow?

The Council of Alcudia wants to extend the protection area of the Roman city of Pol·lèntia by incorporating the private estate of the Tanca de Can Domènech, owned by the hotelier Miquel Ramis, into the public area of the site.

The preliminary results of the geophysical surveys carried out on the farm suggest the continuity of the residential neighbourhood of Sa Portella and the house of Polymnia on the land that is located on the other side of the cemetery road. The farm is valued at €1,215,420.

The townhall will approve this and other proposals to have the project financed through the funds of the Sustainable Tourism Tax. Taking on the land would mean that the archaeological protection is guaranteed and that the council has modern buildings in the northern part of the farm where the natual rock outcrops could be used for scientific and cultural equipment linked to the Roman City. 

Ca Na Cantona Cross

This ancient cross, considered an asset of cultural interest, is back in the Can Berenguer area of Pollensa after a five-year restoration period. The cross fell from its base somehow (it’s not known exactly how) and broke into three pieces. The council sent the cross to be repaired at a company that specializes in limestone restoration but apparently without the mandatory Patrimoni report, hence the hold up. Since the change of government in Pollensa, the restoration was completed under the direction of restorer, Marina Crespí. The restoration meant ridding it of inappropriate adhesives and mortars from previous renovations and the re-composition with its newly made arm. 

Originally called the Creu de Sant Jordi, it was located next to Ca na Cantona on the St Jordi bridge. It has an octagonal base with images of Saints Pere, Joan Baptista, Jordi, Marti and Jaume.  

 

Water Concerns

The Environment Ministry are keeping a close eye on water levels as they drop compared with the same period of last year. The aquifers and reservoirs of the island are at 57% capacity, lower than this time last year but better than two years ago, in 2016 , the worst of the last decade. However, authorities say, there is no reason to relax or forget the pressure on this basic resource: with the low rainfall recorded in July, with the forecast of a dry August and high water consumption, as tourism pushes population numbers, it is very likely that the demand in the Manacor area will enter into the pre-alert stage. The south of the island and the north of the mountains could enter the same phase by the end of September.

 

Formentor Fines Kick In

It is a month since restrictions were introduced on the road in Formentor where cars are banned from driving between 10am and 7pm on the stretch between the beach and the lighthouse, and those breaking the rules are receiving the first fines. 

The Consell de Mallorca and the Council of Pollensa report that during the month of July an average of 20 vehicles per day (practically two per hour) missed the restrictions. This figure has been significantly reduced (up to five vehicles per day) this month. This is probably due to the increased signage that followed the crisis on July 30 when, after ordering the Civil Guard to remove the barriers, hundreds of vehicles invaded the road. The collapse was such that the Government was forced to suspend the shuttle bus service for hours.

The new signs that warn drivers of the restrictions, are in Catalan, Spanish and English and are positioned at different points of the Port’s ring road and access to the road itself. The notices that were already in the digital panels along the Palma road and motorways have also been kept.

Miquel Àngel Sureda, of the council, confirmed that last week, the Guardia Civil went to the lighthouse and fined several drivers on site with penalties of €200 (€80 if paid on the spot). 

 

Cortina Villa Back in the News

Alfonso Cortina, has been ordered by the courts in Palma to remove a fence between his finca and his neighbour’s property. The partition was erected in July 2015. At the same time, the court also dismissed Cortina’s appeal against the Inca Court’s judgment that ordered him and his wife to reinstate the neighbour in possession of the section of land that the fence ran through. 

In delivering their conclusion and ordering them to remove the fence, the judge also asked them to abstain in future from “carrying out acts that disturb the indicated possession”. 

Cortina had filed an appeal claiming that the action had expired because the legal period to sue was one year and the plaintiff knew that the defendants had had that strip of land since 2008. He also claimed that this stretch of land does not belong to the plaintiff and that the installation of the separation fence is a legitimate act of closing a plot by its owner. But this did not hold as the measurements in 2008 did not correspond with the possessory situation. The case was a dispute over the boundaries of the plot but not the possession of the strip of land under this current dispute. 

The conflict between the neighbours began when Cortina bought the property in 2004 and an error in the measurement of the plot for the building project was made.

 

Walk to the Lighthouse

The Ministry of Finance has given free of charge to the Consell de Mallorca the Camí Vell of the Formentor Lighthouse, all 10,312 linear metres of it. This was announced at the beginning of this month by the Consell’s Department of Environment.

The road was built in order to facilitate the construction of the lighthouse and was in use until the middle of the last century, when the new road was built, which it overlaps in part.

The road will be added to stage eight of the Dry Stone Walk. The insular institution has already begun the procedures to accept this assignment so that it becomes part of Mallorca’s heritage as quickly as possible.

The Camí Vell, which starts in Cala Murta, was a project by engineer Emili Pou. The works began in January 1857 and ended in September 1859. With the incorporation of the road, the Consell aims to improve its current state, which in some sections is damaged, and ensure good signage and maintenance.