The Arauca department’s capital city planned to exhibit the valuable chandelier in the Cathedral of Santa Barbara while Teatro Colon underwent renovations. But after 45 days, the city of Arauca decided to return the chandelier due to high maintenance costs. According to a source in the Arauca mayor’s office, maintenance for the valuable chandelier is around $28,000 every year.
To add to the controversy, Arauca’s mayor claimed he never wanted to exhibit the chandelier.
“It was a surprise because the Ministry of Culture made a requirement of equipment for a virtual station. The chandelier arrived [in Arauca] before we could even obtain the necessary electronic equipment.”
But the minister of culture, Mariana Garces, told El Tiempo newspaper that the mayor did in fact ask for the chandelier.
“There was report drawn up and legal documents in place, but when it arrived in Arauca they saw the size of [the chandelier] and the mayor said he do not want to have it.”
Nevertheless, the chandelier will return to Bogota, and is to be exhibited in the National Museum of Colombia. The Ministry of Culture will have to reassess whether the chandelier will go to its second planned stop in the coastal department of Santa Marta.
Reports also confirm that the chandelier will not be reinstalled in Teatro Colon due to its size, weight, and analyses from restoration specialists.
The minister of culture asserted that “the chandelier will not return to Teatro Colon, because that’s what the technical studies told us.”