A view of a large part of the City of the Arts and Sciences. Photograph: Heino Kalis/Reuters c/o The Guardian

"Architect Santiago Calatrava accused of bleeding Valencia dry" - Guardian

Dezeen Wire:
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been accused of "bleeding Valencia dry" over alleged fees of €100 million for the showpiece City of the Arts and Science cultural centre in the city - The Guardian

Leftwing Spanish political party Esquerra Unida claims the architect had a deal with the conservative-led regional government to earn a percentage of construction costs for the complex, which have spiralled to a rumoured €1.1 billion.

Last month, Guardian journalist Giles Tremlett reported that Spanish ministers were blaming profligate regional administrations for Spain's budget deficit, with showpiece architectural projects singled out for criticism.

Tremlett, the paper's Madrid correspondent, seems to have a bee in his bonnet about extravagant Spanish architecture: in October he reported on the closure of the newly opened Niemeyer Centre in Avilés, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and listed Peter Eisenman's City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela among a string of other white elephants; while back in 2009 he reported on how a slew of grandiose schemes - including projects by Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Alejandro Zaera Polo - were hitting the buffers due to the credit crunch and Spain's looming economic woes.

Santiago Calatrava projects featured on Dezeen include the Liège-Guillemins station in Belgium and a bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice.