The French State intends to make cash with the urban park that it has abroad. The Institut Français de Vienna building, housed in a neoclassical palace, was sold six years ago to the Qatari embassy. With the closure of the cultural organization in Valencia, on Calle del Moro Zeid in the El Carme neighborhood, the French State will find it difficult to hit the ball by selling the palace to build a hotel or tourist apartments, the actions that, to the horror of the neighbors, more have populated the central area in recent years.
Cultural geopolitics in Valencia: the decline of the influence of Europe in the face of the rise of China and Russia
The report on the urban circumstances of the building, to which elDiario.es has had access, awards it the urban classification of a protected historical complex area in an area with a predominance of residential use. The urban development was launched in 1845 after the demolition and reparcelling of the old Convent of La Puridad. The building is ascribed to the type of neighborhood house and has a classic style facade typical of the type of multi-family buildings conceived for the bourgeoisie.
The Valencia City Council report frames the façade, consisting of a ground floor with a mezzanine and two floors, in the classical style characterized by a tripartite composition and decorative elements typical of classicism, with a solid brick with continuous cladding and a sloping roof of Arabic tile. Until its closure on June 30, the building had a cultural use and housed the headquarters of the Institut Français de Valencia, as highlighted in the urban circumstances report.
The permitted and prohibited uses for this type of building are included in the Ciutat Vella Special Protection Plan. Thus, “the implementation of any compatible industrial or tertiary activity in the residential qualification area should not alter the conditions of the existing educational plots,” the text reads. The Ciutat Vella Special Protection Plan classifies tertiary use for hotels, discos or tourist homes as “prohibited or incompatible”.
The restoration of the building was carried out at the end of the 20th century thanks to the aid of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Plan of Ciutat Vella. The closure of the Institut Français de Valencia, decreed by the Government of Emmanuel Macron despite the offer of help by his Spanish counterpart and despite citizen mobilization, has led to the dismissal of 25 workers and has left the Francophonie in the capital of the Turia “dying”, according to the newspaper Le Monde. The foreign minister of the neighboring country attributed the closure to an accumulated deficit since 2014 of more than 250,000 euros in the accounts of the organization, the authentic cultural epicenter of the city.
Faced with the protests of the group of dismissed workers, those responsible for the organization have established an informative lock. The fate of the funds from the party wall of the Institut Français or the well-known giant mural by the cartoonist Paco Roca on the liberation of Paris, located on the interior terrace, is not yet clear.
The movement of the French Executive responds to the need to revalue the public real estate park outside the hexagon. However, the protection of the building on Carrer del Moro Zeid makes it difficult for the French State, which owns the building, to sell it to build a hotel or tourist apartments. The luck of the building, a treat for builders and real estate developers, is in the air.
Marzà promotes the Francophonie
The Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Vicent Marzà, together with the General Director of Educational Innovation and Planning, Margarida Castellano, and the General Director of Language Policy and Management of Multilingualism, Rubén Trenzano, have met with the Cultural Councilor of the French Embassy, Anne Loutoy, the attaché for educational and linguistic cooperation in Spain of the French Embassy for the northeast and eastern areas, Sébastien Portelli, and the deputy director of the French Institute of Valencia, Marie-Cecile Le Luec.
“The reason for this meeting”, according to Minister Vicent Marzà, is the constitution of a monitoring commission for the agreement signed by the Ministry and the French Embassy in 2019, with the aim of further expanding the joint programs that we carry out and intensify the work of educational and cultural cooperation “.
Marzà highlighted that “in this committee we have agreed to develop some important lines of collaboration. On the one hand, we will initiate an exchange program between Valencian teachers and French teachers through the ‘academmies’ of Lille, Nice and Grenoble, at the same time as we will reinforce the learning of French among our teachers with free courses in official language schools, as we have already been doing with the English language “. “At the same time, we will expand the Bachibac program to our educational system and the number of French conversation assistants in Valencian institutes”, adds the minister.
As for the free French classes for Valencian teachers in the EOI, the next course will be able to access the teachers that currently promote the Bachibac program and in two courses it will be a general offer for all teaching staff who wish to do so.
It should be remembered that the Department has established the Bachibac program for three years and is currently being carried out by three educational centers: the IES Professor Broch i Llop de Vila-real, the IES Ausiàs March de Manises and the IES Carrús de Elche.
The program allows you to teach a mixed curriculum to obtain the double degree of the French ‘Baccalauréat’ and the Spanish Baccalaureate and, with this, access both Spanish and French universities.
With regard to French conversation assistants, the next course will promote that 50 applicants can join Valencian institutes and that in two courses it will be possible to reach a hundred.