Despite several environmental concerns, the massive “monument to tolerance” sculpture in Fuerteventura designed by Eduardo Chillida is still going ahead. A “magic” mountain on the Canary island of Fuerteventura will have a huge 40 metres square cave bored into the inside of it despite the fact that it has long been a sport of beauty for the inhabitants of this small island.

The idea of the Monument of Tolerance was so that people could walk inside and experience the sheer size and scope of the interior the top of the cave will be even higher than that of the Tate Modern in London as well as having a floor the size of a dozen tennis courts. “The sculpture has been conceived as a monument to tolerance and a work of art for the Canary people,” Chillida wrote before his death in 2002. “I do not want it to be a cause of division or a stone to be thrown in political battles which I do not understand and have no desire to get involved in.”

A foundation has now been formed by Eduardo’s widow to ensure that intellectual rights of the project are protected and Paulino Rivero, the president of the Canary Islands, is confident that the structure will attract lots of tourism. The project has cost an impressive 25 million euros of public money and if just half of the visitors to Fuerteventura pay 8 euros each admission then the costs will be paid back in 12 years.

However, this project is not without its criticisms and one protest group is saying “We want to remind everyone of the immense historical and ecological value of Mount Tindaya and risks this project brings,” and point out that many prehistoric cave drawings will be damaged in the creation of the cave.

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