The Catholic archdiocese of Cuenca has defended its plan to install a café in one of the front towers of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, claiming it had submitted an application for the work in mid-2018 and believed the project had been given the go-ahead by the previous city government.
On Monday, the city’s historic and patrimonial commission ordered work on the café halted, claiming it had not been formally approved. The commission said the application was considered by the former city government but had not been okayed before the new government took office. It said the new city council has not yet appointed the board that would pass final judgment on the application.
The commission ordered the removal of windows that had been installed in the north tower of the cathedral in work converting a former storage area into the café.
The archdiocese says it believed it had received approval from the previous government. “We were under the impression that permission had been granted and we intend to pursue the project to completion,” a church statement said. “It is our belief that we have the right to install the café and believe it will be a great benefit for tourism in Cuenca.”
Although plans for the cafe have not been made public, the church said it would include outside seating on the adjacent terrace overlooking Parque Calderon.