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Four additional burial sites uncovered at byzantine necropolis in Sant Francesc

foto 2020 excavacioThe Formentera Department of Patrimony announces the start of a fresh round of archaeological digs at the byzantine-era necropolis that was unearthed in 2017 on a plot of land on Carrer del Metge Vicent Riera. As work began this week, a team of archaeologists from Sociedad Ciencias Aranzadi announced the discovery of four graves adjacent four which had already been uncovered and dated to seventh century, late Antiquity.

Department chief Raquel Guasch applauded the efforts currently under way, asserting that the findings “help thicken the texture of Formentera’s history”. “That’s why it’s so crucial that they have our support”, she continued, “and that we equip ourselves with tools, such as our catalogue of cultural sites and the Special Archaeological Committee, that put us in a position to safeguard such heritage”.

For her part, archaeologist Glenda Graziani highlighted a number of other local necropolises from the same epoch of the Late Byzantine Empire —Can Gabino, Can Toni Blai and Monestir de la Mola— that were slightly older than the current site, which sits on a plot known as Sa Tanca Vella. Graziani hopes the current efforts will illuminate a period about which details have remained elusive: “This necropolis was likely linked to a settlement which may eventually come to light”. In fact, crews have already identified stone carvings perhaps related to the necropolis. Crews have also found a field that was at one time used for farming—“immensely important to our ability to trace the course of agriculture throughout history”, said Graziani.

Archaeologist Almudena García-Rubio pointed out that the graves in question sit farther apart than those found previously. She also noted that one contains the remains of two children, and the other, an adult and a child. “The remains are quite poorly preserved”, remarked the archaeologist, who affirmed that a sediment study would be in order to determine whether surrounding soil had impacted the preservation process.

On a dig commissioned in 2017 as a prerequisite for building permits for two proposed dwellings, part of a byzantine-era necropolis was uncovered in a stretch of land known as JA-111, which is listed in Formentera’s catalogue of protected cultural heritage sites. Meeting with the site’s owners, the Consell subsequently agreed to oversee excavation of the rest of the plot. Valued at €25,703.74 (VAT included), the contract to carry out the work was awarded to Sociedad Ciencias Aranzadi.

17 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera ushers in return of cultural programming with performance from symphony orchestra in La Mola lighthouse patio

cartell 2020 SimfonicaThe Formentera Department of Culture announces that at 8.30pm on Sunday 21 June, islanders will be treated to a concert from Ziggy Walrus in the patio of the Far de la Mola. The offshoot of the Balearic symphony orchestra will perform covers drawing from a repertoire that spans The Beatles, David Bowie and John Lennon.

Culture consellera Susana Labrador remarked that after the recent reopening of cultural landmarks like the library, the municipal gallery and the La Mola lighthouse, Sunday’s show is the first cultural programming the Consell has put on since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. “It’s a moment we’re very excited about”, Labrador admitted, “not least because it’s the first concert we’ve ever done in the Far de la Mola patio”.

Admission to the show will be free and space limited. Tickets can be reserved from today until Thursday 18 June by emailing cultura@conselldeformentera.cat.

Sant Jaume
The consellera noted that though the public health crisis and accompanying safety protocol meant scrapping initial plans for this year’s Sant Jaume celebrations in favour of a focus on 2021, a revised proposal now envisions festivities going ahead under an alternate format.

In an effort to promote hometown musicians and artists and deliver an injection of culture to every town on the island, organisers have come up with a new format of local artists, intimate performances and simultaneous programming in multiple locations in a bid to include every town on the island while sidestepping crowds in any one site.

Kicking off Tuesday 14 July, the programme serves up music and on-stage performances, art displays and children’s entertainment before coming to a close twelve days later on the island’s yearly holiday: the Diada de Formentera.

The Formentera Department of Culture has offered support to neighbourhood groups and festival committees who wish to adapt patron saint celebrations to new public health protocol.

Music in the squares
This year Música a les Places returns for another summer of weekly performances. Musical entertainment is planned at Es Pujols’ Plaça d’Europa (Thursdays from the 25th), Sant Ferran’s Plaça de l’Església (Fridays from the 26th) and La Savina’s Passeig Marítim (Els dilluns al Port, Mondays from the 29th), as are jazz concerts in Sant Francesc’s Plaça de la Constitució (Jazz a la Plaça, Saturdays from the 27th). Shows start at 10.00pm and are scheduled until October.

Open-air cinema
This year marks the fourteenth edition of Cinema a la Fresca, an outdoor film initiative that spotlights classic and contemporary selections from Spanish and world cinema. From July to September and starting Tuesday 30 June, island crowds can catch a total of 32 subtitled independent films produced in an array of countries from the 1930s to today. Shows start at 10.00pm—Tuesdays in Sant Francesc’s Jardí de ses Eres, Thursdays in Sant Ferran’s Plaça de l’Església and Friday’s in the patio of La Mola’s Casa del Poble.

Culture capsules
Another bit of Consell de Formentera-backed cultural programming that starts this June is “Càpsules culturals”. The initiative is presented by Moskitas Muertas, a cultural association that strives to inject art into the daily lives of island residents by making it accessible, straightforward and tangible.

The months ahead will find the collective unveiling capsules at four milestones of local history, with displays from a variety of disciplinary angles forswearing filters as they showcase culture and bring local history into focus, all while reinterpreting their spirit.

Scheduled for 23 June at the Far de la Mola, the first càpsula is a western with performances at 8.00pm, 8.30pm and 9.00pm. Admission is free and space is limited. Spaces can be reserved by sending an email to capsulesculturals@gmail.com.

Summer 2020 will also offer islanders the chance to enjoy LLUN3S, a three-part series of full-moon music festivals in the Far de la Mola patio that organisers hope becomes a yearly feature of the local calendar.

The three concerts will begin just as the moon peeks out over the horizon at the cliffs of La Mola. The first concert is on Sunday 5 July at 9.58pm, the second on 3 August at 9.21pm and the third on 2 September at 8.57pm.

Presented by Espai_F and sponsored by the Department of Culture, LLUN3S aims to recover the spirit of La Mola’s famed “full-moon parties” of the seventies and eighties.

Formentera Jazz Festival
Last on the list, the sixth edition of Formentera’s festival of jazz, originally meant to settle into new Sant Ferran digs this June, will instead take place in August. Unfolding from the 21st to the 23rd in a format which has been tweaked for added intimacy, the festival will merge the energy, artistry and melodies of musicians who are both new at the game and veterans in the field and hailing from Formentera, Spain and the world.

At these and more activities hosted this summer by the Consell de Formentera and revamped for increased intimacy and fewer crowds, capacity limits will be observed and masks required whenever physical distancing measures aren’t possible.

16 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

La Mola lighthouse reopens tomorrow, Friday 12 June

foto 2020 far la molaThe Formentera Department of Culture reports that the Far de la Mola cultural centre will reopen its doors tomorrow, Friday 12 June. Visiting hours are 10.00am to 2.00pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and from this year residents of the Balearic Islands get in at no charge. Department chief Susana Labrador pointed out that this year islanders across the archipelago would see entry fees waived in a bid to broaden the reach of Formentera’s maritime and cultural heritage amid the Covid-19 crisis. Formentera residents, visitors under 18 and the unemployed have enjoyed free admission to the lighthouse since last year; in 2020, the discount will extend to everyone in the Balearics. General admission is €4.50, and pensioners and students benefit from a €2 reduction.

Protocols in place at the newly reopened cultural centre aim to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Capacity has been set at 20, and visitors are required to observe a two-metre distance from one another. In an effort to ensure distancing measures are respected, visitors will be asked to queue outside until staff can clear them for entry, proceeding through the space on a one-way circuit and wearing a mask whenever maintaining the proper distance isn’t possible. Hand sanitiser will be available as well, with crews instructed to double down on hygiene and cleaning efforts.

A monument to civil engineering, La Mola's lighthouse was designed by Emili Pou Bonet and completed in 1861. Today the building houses a space which is devoted to culture and to showcasing Formentera's maritime heritage. It is divided into two clearly distinct exhibition spaces. The permanent exhibition explores its main focus—the sea—from a variety of angles: the marine environment, natural resources management, navigation and light signals. A second space is dedicated to temporary art exhibits.

11 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Ajuntament Vell welcomes selection of contemporary art from collection of Cati Verdera

cartell 2020 I. EsculturesOn Monday 15 June at 6.00pm, a new display will settle into the municipal gallery space. ‘Una col·lecció d'art contemporani: I. Escultures’ is the first in a series of shows from the collection of celebrated gallery owner and resident of La Mola, Cati Verdera, who in 2019 treated the island to a selection of works by Erwin Broner. The new show will be at the Ajuntament Vell until Saturday 27 June.

The exhibition contains 16 pieces from 9 artists: Manolo Paz, Xavier Laka, Florentino Díaz, Joaquim Camp, Mario de Ayguavives, Pamen Pereira, Laura Lio, Manu Muniategiandigoikoetxea and Carlos Pazos.

The sculpted work is varied in terms of both techniques showcased and materials employed: one piece is of sculpted granite, others are objects strewn together into visual poems, with artists turning alternately to wood, cardboard, rusted metal, steel, wire, rubber, glass and wax as well.

Produced by Trampolí Mecànic and curated by Manolo Oya, the show also benefitted from the collaboration of the Consell de Formentera. According to Oya, “Cati Verdera’s impulse is, first, to share Broner’s oeuvre with the world, and second, to share her own collection with the people of Formentera”. By Oya’s lights, the collection constitutes “a veritable store of human sensitivity”, adding, “The very decision to share it is an exercise in generosity and social activism”.

10 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Reopening of Ajuntament Vell exhibition space

foto 2020 mar ample2As the municipal exhibition space joins the list of newly reopened buildings today, Monday 1 June, it hails the arrival of “L'ombra del temps”, the latest offering from artist Mar Ample. The display comprises a series of oversize paper creations where the true stars of the show are the white of the paper and shadows that are traced by light.

Visiting hours are 11.00am to 2.00pm and 6.00pm to 8.00pm. The gallery is closed Sundays and Monday mornings, and the show ends Saturday 13 June.

Safety and hygiene protocol will be in effect at the Sala d'Exposicions - Ajuntament Vell and maximum capacity is set at five. Visits will be individual (not limited to individual persons, but individual groups of up to six). Larger group visits are not allowed. Visitors must wait and maintain physical distancing outside the gallery until notified it is time to enter. Visits will be conducted in one direction only, respecting the established entry and exit points.

Safety protocol at Casa del Poble and Sala d'Exposicions
Masks must be worn whenever the safe two-metre distance between individuals cannot be respected. Hand sanitiser will be available.

1 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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