Pope's Barcelona visit to cost at least 500,000 euros: cardinal

6th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Barcelona in northeastern Spain on November 7 will cost between 500,000 and 600,000 euros, Barcelona Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach said Wednesday.

The estimate does not include expenses for security and the media centre which will be covered by the Spanish government, he told a press conference.

Around 300,000 euros (400,000 dollars) in donations have already been raised from the faithful and private institutions to cover the Church's costs for the papal visit, which the cardinal said would be "austere but dignified".

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate a consecration mass in the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by modernist architect Antoni Gaudi during his visit which will be attended by some 6,900 people inside the building.

Cardinal Sistach predicted that some 40,000 people will follow the mass in giant television screens set up outside the temple.

The cathedral, which has been in construction for years before and after the Gaudi's death in 1926, is a world heritage site.

The pope will visit the northwestern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela on November 6, a day before he celebrates mass in Barcelona.

© 2010 AFP

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