Borgos Cathedrals doors
The proposed new doors, which show God the Father, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus as a young child. Photograph: Archidiocesis Burgos

Public outrage over Spanish cathedral’s new doors: ‘an eyesore’

Plans to install three bronze doors at the cathedral of Burgos have caused an uproar in the northern Spanish city. At the time of writing, more than 56.000 people have signed an online petition against the instalment.

The doors, designed by Spanish artist Antonio López, will mark the 800th anniversary of the cathedral, the Guardian reported. They depict images of God the Father, Jesus as a child and the Virgin Mary. The €1.2m bronze portals will replace three wooden entrances that are in poor condition.

Queues of hungry people

Even though the current doors need replacement, Unesco’s world heritage centre advised against the instalment of the bronze designs. The institute believes the doors intervene too much with the gothic cathedral’s role as a universal heritage site. Unesco based itself on a report from the Spanish branch of Icomos, critiquing the new doors.

Meanwhile, over 56.000 people signed a petition against the placement of the bronze doors. Apart from critiquing the doors’ aesthetics – “an eyesore however you look at them” – they are deemed too expensive. “Given the queues of hungry people we’re seeing, why is the archbishopric spending €1.2m on this?” The petition also claims the city council sponsored €800.000 of taxpayers money.

The city council denied that public money is used to finance the bronze replacements. The cathedral also pointed out that Icomos’ report is non-binding. Whether the new doors will be placed is up to the culture department of the government of Castilla y Léon, the region where Burgos lies.

Burgos Cathedral
The proposed new doors, on the left, the Virgin Mary and on the right God the Father. Photograph: Archidiocesis Burgo
Burgos Cathedral Doors
The proposed new doors, on the right Jesus as a child. Photograph: Archidiocesis Burgo
Burgos Cathedral doors
Sketch of the three doors by the artist Antonio López. Photo: catedraldeburgos2021
Burgos Cathedral door
Current situation of the neo classical Santa María façade of Burgos Cathedral.

Learn more about the history of the imposing cathedral in the video below.

Source: (Spanish), Cathedraldeburgos2021, The Guardian and Unesco

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