The Government of Italy will invest 1.5 million in reforming the Zaragoza church of San Antonio de Padua

The government of Italy will invest around 1.5 million euros in rehabilitating the church of San Antonio de Padua. Located on Zaragoza’s Paseo de Cuéllar, there lie the remains of 5,700 Italian soldiers who died fighting in the Spanish Civil War and the country’s Ministry of Defense has proposed to rehabilitate the space, which in some areas is damaged by the passage of time, and give it greater meaning. Specifically, the goal is create an interpretation center in the facilities that allows to know more about the history of the Italian Army and what happened then. The intention is for the works to be completed by 2024.

The enclosure is located in front of the Pignatelli park and is made up of the temple, the convent of the Capuchin Fathers and the Italian Military Sacrarium, whose entrance arches make up the atrium of the church. It began to be built in 1940 and is part of the cataloged assets of Aragonese cultural heritage. However, for Italy it still has “a deeper value”.

It is the expression used Massimo MarchettiItalian honorary vice-consul in Aragon, who emphasizes that the Government “does not differentiate between the sides of the fallen soldiers in the wars in which the country has participated”. “This Sacrarium of San Antonio, like so many others located in various countries around the world, wants to pay the honors that Italy does to its soldiers,” says Marchetti, who explains that the Zaragoza mausoleum depends on the Ministry of Defencespecifically a section called Honor to the Fallen in Wars.

In the case of San Antonio de Padua, remember that a total of 5,700 Italians rest. “They are soldiers who have defended their ideals, be they as black shirts or as brigade members,” adds the vice-consul. Also, he explains that throughout the year this space receives around 5,000 visits. Mostly, from the descendants of the buried soldiers, but also from primary, secondary or high school schools, as well as from students of the Zaragoza’s University.

However, Marchetti regrets that its structure “is no longer in perfect condition.” For this reason, the Ministry of Defense has decided to carry out the restoration, in which it will invest around 1.5 million euros. The project is yet to be finalized, but above all it is intended to tidy up the walls, which are visibly damaged by the passage of time and inclement weatherand create an interpretation center.

An architecture studio from Zaragoza is in charge of planning the works, for which it is also in contact with the Zaragoza City CouncilFirefighters and Patrimony of the Government of Aragon. “They have always helped us with the maximum availability to find solutions to every difficulty”he assures.

The goal is for the works to go out to tender next year. “We are looking forward to this project, but as in all civil works, and given the current times we are living in, we hope that our reform forecast will be fulfilled and will not extend beyond the year 2024,” he adds.

The Government of Italy will invest 1.5 million in reforming the Zaragoza church of San Antonio de Padua