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As the community knows, Banco de la República holds a free-use contract with the Society of Public Improvements of Barranquilla to use the Amira de la Rosa Theater since 19 June 1980. Since then, the venue has been administered and maintained by the Central Bank for cultural activities, holding many events for the benefit of the community of the city, encouraging the development of artistic and cultural activity, and creating spaces for new cultural manifestations.


As was reported to the public, due to fissures that appeared in the structure of the Theater, Banco de la República hired a structural diagnosis of the building that took place between 2015 and 2016. The report concluded that the structure is highly vulnerable and does not comply with the earthquake-resistance regulations in force, because it was designed and built under the applicable parameters at the time of its construction. 


This study evidenced that the conditions of the Amira de la Rosa Theater were not suitable for the use agreed, and that a profound and complex intervention of its structure is required, implying high costs and long duration. 


For this reason, in order not to compromise the safety of the public, on 26 July 2016 Banco de la República decided to close the building and continue its cultural activities in other venues of the city. 


Since then, the Central Bank has held a series of communications and meetings with the Town Hall of Barranquilla, the Society of Public Improvements, and the Ministry of Culture regarding the situation and possibilities of the Theater. 


How have we managed our cultural activity?

Cultural activities of the Bank have continued on schedule. A 200 sq m space at the Bank's facilities was adapted to offer the services of the network of libraries: external book loan, research, “Travelling Boxes” with library material, and Didactic Cases from the Gold Museum, and association to the Network. Also, an exhibition hall was adapted with all technical and safety requirements.


On 9 February, this space was inaugurated with the exhibition "Apparent Ingenuity: Primitivist painters in the Art Collection of Banco de la República," which includes an important exhibition of the works by artist Noé León, highly esteemed in the Caribbean region. This exhibition will open the Carnival of the Arts, an event that the Bank continues to support as it has been doing for the last ten years, and whose children's chapter "Fantastic" will take place in the gardens of the Amira de la Rosa Theater. 


Other activities such as concerts, lectures, workshops, and seminars are held in other cultural venues of the city through inter-agency partnerships. A program with more than 117 cultural activities for all audiences is projected for 2017.


How are we contributing to the solution of the issues regarding the Amira de la Rosa Theater?

Given the complexity of the status of the loan contract, its legal framework, and the scope of the functions currently under responsibility of the entities involved, Banco de la República, as reported last year, will request guidance from the Consultancy and Civil Service Chamber of the State Council through a formal query stating the concerns derived from the legal analysis.


Additionally, considering that in 2006 the Ministry of Culture declared the Amira de la Rosa Theater a National Cultural Interest Asset, the building is subject to the legal regime established for this type of goods. For this reason, any intervention must be authorized by the Ministry of Culture. Therefore, the Central Bank is preparing preliminary contacts with the Ministry while the results of the query filed at the State Council are known. 


Since the Amira de la Rosa Theater was closed, the Town Hall of Barranquilla as well as the Society of Public Improvements of Barranquilla have expressed their willingness to participate with Banco de la República in the search of a solution to this issue. This support is fundamental, and it is expected to continue.  


Banco de la República expresses its best spirit to contribute with economic resources to solve the situation of the Amira de la Rosa Theater for the cultural benefit of the country and of Barranquilla, once the consultation provides juridical clarity about possible solutions and their legal feasibility.

Monday, 30 January 2017

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