Maybe you weren’t aware of it, but the Catalans are huge fans of Woody Allen. The respect is mutual. Woody Allen’s relationship with Barcelona has grown over the years and he is known to love the city. In 2008 he filmed Vicky Cristina Barcelona in the city, making a number of friends here. And last December he played in a live concert at the Gran Teatro del Liceo on new year’s eve, along with The New Orleans Jazz Band.
So, it comes as no surprise that Barcelona could soon host the world’s first Woody Allen museum. A project is afoot to convert the former School of Arts and Crafts, known as La Llotja or Borsí, into a center dedicated to the work of Woody Allen.
Picasso himself was a student at La Llotja for a time, so it is a location with an impressive cultural legacy. Owned by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the local government, the property has abandoned since December 2009, and so the Generalitat plans to hold a competition to choose a project to find a new use for the space. It is the intention of Barcelona’s Mediapro group to renovate the building for use as The Woody Allen Center.
According to Mediapros’s owner Jaume Roures, a personal friend of Allen, as well as the producer of three of his films, the Hollywood star “was surprised” initially but having seen seeing the details gave his approval and applauded the proposal.
The proposed center would occupy three floors and offer visitors an experience over some 2,000m2 for a price “similar to that of a movie ticket.” It would of course feature references to the film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, filmed in Barcelona, as well as frequent themes in Allen’s filmography, such as love, humour, sex, death and religion. Visitors would be greeted by a large psychoanalysis couch in the lobby.
La Llotja is a distinctive neoclassical building built in 1883, overlooking a small square on Carre Avinyó in the heart of Barcelona’s old town. Watch this space!