Sagrada Familia church permit finally received.

More than 130 years after it was begun, Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia has finally obtained permission from the city to legally continue construction in a bizarre example of bureaucratic purgatory.

After three years of negotiations, the mayor’s office finally recognised the works, which began in 1885, as legitimate. But it will cost a hefty sum.

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The Construction Board of La Sagrada Família Foundation, which is responsible for overseeing the work, will now have to pay €4.6 million ($5.2mn) to officially obtain the necessary permission and an additional €36 million ($40mn) which will cover the cost of infrastructure works both past and future to accommodate the architectural behemoth.

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Designed by architect Antoni Gaudí the church, which is funded entirely through donations, has become one of the city’s main attractions since construction started all those years ago.

The current total estimated cost of construction is €374 million ($416mn) and it is due to be completed some time in 2026.

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“Finally this historical anomaly in which a work such as the Sagrada Familia has been carried out ‘illegally’ has been resolved,” local politician Janet Sanz said to La Vanguardia.

“A license will have to be paid just like everyone else, without any form of special treatment.”

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