The City Council is considering the introduction of new measures to monitor the historic Castillo de Guardamar which has suffered more than 40 acts of vandalism during recent weeks.
Stones have been prised out of the castle ramparts, plants uprooted and all thrown over the walls to the lower levels.
The Councillor for Historical Heritage, Pilar Gay, said that the vandalism has already been reported to the Civil Guard who said that they are studying new measures to monitor the historic area through a plan involving local police officers, Autonomic police and the Civil Guard.
The councillor said that everything points to the fact that they are regular actions of vandalism involving several people “who act solely with the aim of breaking the law. There can be no other erason and they seem to be totally unaware of the damage they are causing to the archaeological site which is currently registered as a Place of Cultural Interest (BIC). ”
She said that the damage caused to the archaeological remains that exist on the site can be sanctioned with fines ranging between 60 thousand euros and 1.3 million euros, depending on whether the vandalism is classified as minor or serious.
The damages that have been caused during recent months have been evaluated by the municipal historian Francisco J. Parres: “They have cost the town 15,000 euros in terms of purely economic value but with respect to the artistic value of the BIC monument the cost is incalculable,” he said.
Most of the damage has been caused in towers one, two and three of the east wall. Other damage includes two holes in archaeological sites, graffiti, and the demolition of part of a wall.
For Parres the damage is very serious but it is recoverable. Therefore, the necessary permits will be requested from the Territorial Directorate of Culture to restore the destruction.
He explained that access to the walled town is always open and that it is monitored by security cameras, and that the images removed from them have been made available to Guardia Civil.
Guardamar town and its castle were founded in 1271 by Alfonso X of Castile. During the 16th century the old medieval defences were reconstructed to cope with the advance of warfare; medieval towers were lowered and a couple of bastions were built.
In 1829 the area was hit by a severe earthquake. The castle and village were destroyed and subsequently abandoned as its inhabitants moved to the lower lands closer to the sea.
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