The Government of Catalonia, through the departments of Culture and Justice, Rights and Memory, the Provincial Council of Lleida, through the Institute of Ilerdencs Studies (IEI), and Alcarràs City Council, will sign an agreement to acquire the Vallmanya house and ensure its revitalization. The Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga, explained that this agreement “will make it possible to position the Vallmanya house as a space of memory for President Macià, a space of republican memory” and thanked the involvement of all the institutions involved: “When the administrations we work together and understand both local and national needs, good deals like this are achieved.”
The vice-president of the IEI, Estefania Rufach, has stated that “three years ago the Diputació de Lleida promoted the need for an agreement with the Generalitat and the City Council to save this symbol of the country that is Casa Vallmanya, promoting an operation, in its emergency day, but with the will to maintain over time. Three years later, we congratulate ourselves that we can now implement the operation we proposed and involve, as we already do in the spaces Macià de les Borges and Companys del Tarrós, the new generations in the knowledge of the history of Catalonia”.
The mayor of Alcarràs, Gerard Companys, has highlighted the importance of the agreement for what Vallmanya means in the history of Catalonia and in that of one of its greatest figures, President Macià. “This space of memory that Vallmanya will become has been the result of the understanding of the Administrations, to whom I want to thank for their support and commitment”, added Companys, stressing that “for the residents of Alcarràs will not incur any costs”.
By means of an agreement, the Department of Culture and the Provincial Council of Lleida have committed to contribute €920,000 to Alcarràs City Council, divided equally between the Department and the Provincial Council, so that the council can purchase the farm, and for it to be restored and marked as a place of memory. The intervention will require two phases: first, the emergency flashing of all the buildings in order to stop their degradation and guarantee people’s safety; and second, the restoration and structural consolidation of the roofs and slabs of the main house and the courtyard as well as the restoration and rehabilitation of the exterior facades and enclosures, and the adaptation of the immediate environment.
In the same agreement, Alcarràs City Council undertakes to adhere to the Network of Spaces of Democratic Memory of the Democratic Memorial, an organ of the Department of Justice, Rights and Memory that oversees the recovery, commemoration and promotion of democratic memory, and specifically, knowledge of the period of the Second Republic, the Republican Generalitat and the Civil War, among others. In this way, Alcarràs City Council and, specifically, Casa Vallmanya, will become part of a network of municipalities that explain important moments and figures in the country, as is the case of President Macià. Joining the network involves the signage of the area and the development of educational and informative activities, among others; reinforces the knowledge of the work and life of President Macià, and is also a contribution to the regional dynamism of the memorial heritage.
Casa Vallmanya, residence of the Macià Lamarca family
Originally, the Vallmanya house was a 17th century Carthusian building, one of the few examples of a manor house in the Segrià region. It was the occasional residence of the Macià Lamarca family from the end of the 19th century, when Agapit Lamarca, owner of the estate and father of Eugènia Lamarca and wife of Francesc Macià, carried out a major architectural reform of the old Carthusian rooms. After being set on fire during the civil war of 1936-1939, the interior of the house has undergone several and repeated modifications. In 2008, Alcarràs City Council declared the house as a Cultural Property of Local Interest (BCIL), but due to the investment required to purchase and restore the house, it has not been able to take responsibility for its heritage conservation and dissemination until now, with the signing of this agreement by the council with the Generalitat and the Diputació de Lleida.
In relation to the height appeal presented by the Salvem Casa Vallmanya platform in order for this building to be declared a Cultural Property of National Interest (BCIN), the Department of Culture requested a technical report from the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, in which considers that the Vallmanya house can be declared BCIN in the category of “historic site”. The Department of Culture has informed the Salvem Vallmanya platform today in this regard while the resolution of the height appeal continues.