Spain: Unfinished Gaudí church gets permit after 137 years

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In this Aug. 20, 2017 file photo, dignitaries leave after a Mass at Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Basilica for the victims of the terror attacks, in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)
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In this file photo taken Jan. 13, 2010 shows Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia church, an unfinished Barcelona landmark in Barcelona, Spain. (AP)
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In this file photo taken on October 3, 2017 tourists stand outside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. (AFP)
Updated 09 June 2019
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Spain: Unfinished Gaudí church gets permit after 137 years

  • Gaudí died in 1926 after being struck by a trolley when just one facade was complete. He is buried in the church crypt

BARCELONA, Spain: Property owners have a new yardstick by way of Spain for measuring frustration over building permit requests they suspect got lost in a local government bureaucracy.
Barcelona City Hall finally has issued a work permit for the unfinished church designed by architect Antoni Gaudí 137 years after construction started on La Sagrada Familia Basilica
The city said Friday it granted the current builders a license that is valid through 2026. The builders think that will be enough time to finish raising the landmark Roman Catholic church’s central towers.
The basilica’s first stone was laid in 1882, but Barcelona officials said there was no record showing a building permit first requested in 1885 ever was granted or rejected.
Barcelona officials said the city will be paid 4.6 million euros ($5.2 million) in fees under an agreement negotiated with a foundation devoted to completing and preserving La Sagrada Familia.
The agreement between the city and the foundation puts an end to “a historical anomaly in our city,” Barcelona official Janet Sanz.
Over 4.5 million visitors pay 17-38 euros each to tour the cathedral-sized church every year. The Barcelona government estimates 20 million tourists stand outside to marvel at the bell towers; Gaudí envisioned 12, one for each of Christ’s disciples, but they all may never get built.
When completed, work on one of the central towers that is expected to get done while the building permit is valid will make La Sagrada Familia the tallest religious structure in Europe at 172.5 meters (566 feet) tall, according to the builders.
Barcelona has the largest concentration of buildings designed by Gaudí, whose bold modernist aesthetic still inspires architects. A fervent Catholic, he dedicated much of his professional life to Sagrada Familia, for which he incorporated elements of Christian symbolism along with the organic forms he often employed.
Gaudí died in 1926 after being struck by a trolley when just one facade was complete. He is buried in the church crypt.
Ongoing construction work is based on the architect’s plaster models, and photos and publications of his original drawings, which were destroyed in a 1930s fire, according to Sagrada Familia foundation.


Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

Updated 18 September 2019

Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

  • Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media

CAIRO: Magi Sadeq, 25, is known for keeping a low profile in the media compared to the wives of other footballers. 

The wife of Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has become something of a celebrity in her own right after appearing with her husband while maintaining a conservative look.

Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media, but sometimes there is no escaping the spotlight for his wife and daughter.

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award. She also appeared with their daughter Makka during celebrations marking Salah’s winning of the Premier League Golden Boot award, and after Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Sadeq was born and raised in Nagrig, a village in Gharbia where Salah was also born. It is the same place where they like to spend their holidays and special occasions whenever they have the chance.

FASTFACT

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award.

She has a twin sister, Mohab, and two other sisters, Mahy and Miram. Their parents were both teachers at Mohamed Eyad Al-Tantawi School, where she met the future Egyptian international.

Sadeq, who maintains a simple lifestyle, fell in love with Salah 10 years before they married. Their love story was the talk of the town where they lived.

They were married in 2013 as the player started taking his first steps in Europe with Swiss football club Basel. They married when he returned home for his first holiday.  

She keeps her husband connected to his rural roots. She doesn’t have any social media accounts, and unlike other footballer’s wives, she is not interested in appearance and makeup. She prefers to wear body-covering conservative clothes.

Sadeq and her twin sister both obtained their degrees in biotechnology from Alexandria University. She is responsible for her husband’s charity work in Egypt. Her neighbors say that she helps in buying the necessary home appliances and other needs of newly married couples. She also supervises charity work and regularly attends the special events staged by her village even though she has been made busier after her husband joined Liverpool.

Salah once said of his wife: “I am unfair to Magi as I give her the least of my time due to the nature of my work. I would like to thank her for her support and for being in my life.”