The ‘best restaurant in the world’, El Bulli, located in northern Catalunya, is to close for two years, announced its owner, Ferran Adrià, yesterday (read article in Catalan here, Avui). The world-famous chef, who has won the restaurant three Michelin stars and the accolade of the world's best on various occasions, said that El Bulli would be closed to the public throughout 2012 and 2013, although he added that the kitchens would remain open and working during the period of “reflection” to continue its work of gastronomic creation. El Bulli, which is close to the north Catalan town of Roses, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012, a landmark that Adrià says he wants to use as an opportunity to begin a new stage in its development and prepare a new, more creative restaurant format.
Cinemas across Catalunya will remain shut on Monday in protest at the future law regulating the languages that films can be shown in (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The proposed law will impose quotas on cinemas regarding the number of films they have to show either subtitled or dubbed into Catalan, a move that cinema owners say will be a ‘death sentence’ for their businesses. As such, on February 1st, 74 cinemas will stay closed to demonstrate their belief that the law will “prohibit, make demands on and sanction” their sector, as well as being “catastrophic and apocalyptic”, according to the president of the Gremio de Empresarios de Cine de Catalunya, Camilo Tarrazón, speaking yesterday. The closures will take place on the same day that the Academy of Catalan Cinema is due to award its annual prizes, the Premis Gaudí.
The four Catalan families in the process of adopting children from Haiti when the earthquake struck the country two weeks ago, have been united with the children in the Dominican Republic (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The Spanish government decided to finalise the international adoption process for these and other children due to be adopted by Spanish families as quickly as possible in the face of the devastation faced by Haiti, and despite the fact that the paperwork was lost in the collapse of the building of the Haitian Social Services department; the process was entering its final stages when the earthquake struck, and has taken more than three years. The four children adopted by Catalan families were transferred by helicopter yesterday from Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo, where their parents were waiting for them; they met at the Spanish embassy in the capital of the Dominican Republic. The plan is for the families to journey to Barcelona today.
Also in the news: Ascó mayor says he thinks Catalan government will cooperate with the town’s bid to have nuclear waste ‘cemetery' (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia); Pensioners face reduction in state benefit (read full article in Catalan here, Avui); Slight rise in number of Spanish mortgages given after 2.5 years of falling numbers (read full article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia)