Ignacio Blanco, spokesperson for the left wing Esquerra Unida (EA) in the Valencian parliament (Les Corts) revealed today that the total cost of building the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (CAC) was over 1.1 billion euros and that the architect, Santiago Calatrava, received more than 94 million euros in fees for the project.
Blanco explained that he had spent four days solid studying all the documentation the Generalitat (regional government) has made available to him on the project, including contracts and proof of payments made.
The costs he outlined include the job of overseeing the building works and the actual construction of the Hemisfèric, the Museo de las Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, the Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía, the Oceanogràfic and the Ágora, but do not include the cost of furnishing the individual buildings.
The documentation, provided by the regional Ministry for Tourism, Culture and Sport, shows a total of 1,253 payments made to Santiago Calatrava and to the different contractors involved in the construction project.
With regards to Calatrava's salary from the Generalitat, which, according to Blanco is almost 100 million euros if you include his fees for the Auditorium in Castellón, which has not been built in the end, is also increasing as the years go by.
"These favourable terms of remuneration have increased between 1991 and 2009", said Blanco, explaining that the architect's fees were calculated as a percentage of the final cost of the construction, which has been increasing year on year.
He also added that it was likely Calatrava still had payments outstanding as some buildings, like the Ágora, are yet to be finished (it is missing the moving roof).
Blanco also pointed out that Calatrava has been invoicing the Generalitat without VAT since the start because he is legally resident in Switzerland. Blanco blamed the socialists for giving the project to Calatrava in the first place, then Eduardo Zaplana for "feeding" the architect, and finally Francisco Camps for "creating a monster that has drained the public coffers".