Interesting. The exhibition will move to Ciutadella this spring and may also be shown in other towns


F. Naumann Sant Lluís
Numerous exiting discoveries await visitors in a new exhibition currently displayed in Maó entitled "La imatge de Menorca - Canvis en el paisatge durant el segle XX" ("The image of Menorca - Landscape changes during the 20th Century").

The exhibition focuses strongly on the evolution of tourism in Menorca and its impact on the island's scenery. Comprising about a dozen thematic display boards, it starts with a brief retrospective look at the island's traditional structures, subsequently moving on to topics such as "The start of tourism in Menorca", "Infrastructure and the first urbanisations", "The map of growth" and "The big urbanisations and their public promotion".

Going on in history, the exhibition reviews different types of urbanisations, the crises of tourism and eventually the initial concerns about environmental protection. In this context it focuses thematically on "The initial conservationist movements - the Albufera des Grau case" and on "The creation of GOB and civic mobilisation", displaying historic views of the controversial Shangri-La urbanisation and the first demonstrations against further construction along Menorca's coastline in the late 1970s. The presentation concludes with a collection of 20th century postcards as well as four films featuring "Tourism and Construction", "Images of Menorca", "The Blue and White Island" and "The Last of a Quiet Island". Each film lasts between 30 minutes and one hour, with seating areas in two corners of the exhibition hall.

Exciting historical material
"The image of Menorca - Landscape change during the 20th Century" is not only an interesting exhibition but also a valuable contribution to the recording of Menorca's recent past. Jointly organised by the Consell Insular's Department for Culture, Patrimony, Education and Youth and the 'Arxiu d'imatge i so de Menorca' audiovisual archives, the exhibition goes beyond its main topic, giving a detailed account not only of landscape changes but also of the island's tourism history and the development of related infrastructure during the late 1960's and 1970's. Reprinted leaflets and brochures, once intended to attract potential property buyers, extend the range of covered subjects to marketing history. Many of the displayed exhibits were taken from the 'Arxiu d'imatge i so de Menorca' collection, but the exhibition's team and its directors Joan Pau Salort and Laura Piris also received support from local institutions, companies and numerous private persons, including the Diario Insular Menorca and the British Honorary Consul Deborah Hellyer. The large quantity of original material turns the new exhibition into such a lively documentation of Menorca's recent history that it is worth a visit even for those who cannot understand the fairly extensive Catalan explanatory texts.

"La imatge de Menorca - Canvis en el paisatge durant el segle XX" will be displayed in the Edifici Can Victori in Camí des Castell, 28, Maó, until 13th March and is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1000 to 1300 hrs. and Tuesdays to Fridays from 1700 to 2000 hrs.

This spring it will be transferred to Ciutadella and planning is underway for presentations in Menorca's other municipalities. It is also intended to publish an exhibition catalogue. Although many of the displayed photos and reprints are self-explanatory, a translation into English (even if only partial) of this brilliantly researched and presented exhibition would be desirable to open it up to a larger audience.