Although construction officials had promised that this iconic temple would be completed before that date, their plan was frustrated due to a shortage of tourists, especially foreign tourists, who accounted for 94% of the total. Entrance fees and private donations have provided funding for the construction of the temple. Based on the data of 4.5 million visitors last year, this year’s revenue is predicted to be 103 million euros, of which 55 million euros will be used to build several large buildings. The spire is still missing from the top of the building.
But after months of coronavirus-related restrictions and a sharp decline in tourism, the 2020 budget has been reduced to 17 million euros.
“Unless there is a miracle, by 2026, the project will not be completed as previously expected,” said Esteve Camps, executive chairman of the Santa Architectural Museum Foundation, which is responsible for preserving and completing the landmark building. Camps spoke at a press conference last Wednesday, before the LaMercè celebration in the Catalan capital over the weekend. During the three-day celebration that began on September 18, the cathedral provided free tickets for 12,000 people.
On March 13 this year, construction work was interrupted and Spain began to implement a state of emergency. Camps said that work will be “resumed within 15 days or at most three weeks.” But neither he nor chief architect Jodie Fuli did not propose a new completion date.