Five thousand people attended the inauguration of Plaza de San Nicolas in the heart of Barranquilla, the Colombian Ministry of Culture said Thursday.
The event was attended by Culture Minister Mariana Garces Cordoba and mayor Alejandro Char. The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the District Folkloric Band and dance group La Matuna were also in attendance.
The Ministry of Culture spent more than $4.5 million on the improvement works while the District Mayor contributed $1.33 million for the purchase of land to allow for the expansion of the square.
The improvement works, which began in January 2010, cover the area surrounding San Nicolas Church which is thought to be the oldest catedral in Barranquilla. The aim of the project is to help solve the problems of pollution, squatting and crime in the area.
Garces Cordoba said “It is a priority for the Ministry of Culture to restore, revitalize and protect the architectural value of the old sectors which are the most representative of Colombia.”