Government Alleges Financial Issues, Closes Spain’s Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer

Considering how occasionally difficult some of his recent health-based rough patches had been over the past couple of years, legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer seemed to be having a pretty great 103rd year. In addition to a new book released this summer, profiling the dozens of churches he had designed during this still-going career, he rang in his birthday last December with the opening of two in now-a-series of dazzling modern buildings housing eponymous cultural organizations, first with the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation in his home city of Rio de Janeiro, followed closely by the opening of the Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer in Aviles, Spain. However, despite the positive, things may have taken a slight turn in the opposite direction. The Guardian reports that the center in Spain, often referred to as akin to a cousin to Frank Gehry‘s Guggenheim in Bilbao, has been forced to close, just months after opening. The paper writes that the local government alleges that it has found a number of troubling issues with the organization’s finances, saying that “too much had been spent on hotels, trips and restaurants.” The outpouring of support for the center has reportedly been steady, and the organization itself says it disagrees with the government’s findings, but for the time being, with no re-opening date set, the building remains closed, adding it, as the Guardian writers, to “a growing list of ambitious publicly-funded projects in Spain which have run into trouble.”