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Despite Protests, Ferran Adrià Still Wants to Build elBulli Museum on Protected Land

The famous chef says, "Consensus is important."

Gustavo Caballero/Getty

Locals in Catalonia really don't want chef Ferran Adrià to build his elBulliFoundation complex in Cap de Creus, a natural park in Spain. Back in August, activists launched a petition that called for the Catalan government to create a law that would prevent Adrià from building his educational center/mad scientist-style laboratory in the "protected area" of the park. The BBC (translated) writes that the activists behind the petition managed to collect over 75,000 signatures, and presented it to the government in early September. The bill has apparently passed "the period of public exhibition" and is now awaiting discussion in parliament.

Activists are concerned that tourists will ruin the park and the surrounding ecosystem. Adrià, however, believes that it wouldn't be right if he built it anywhere else, because that is where elBulli, his famed but now-shuttered restaurant, once lived. Adrià adds that he has turned down offers that would let him open in Qatar and Singapore.

But, he notes that he is willing to "amend the original proposal" if it will help him and the town reach a consensus. Supporters of Adrià — which include the chef brothers behind El Celler de Can Roca — argue that the project will bring benefits to the area. Adrià hopes to begin construction in November and plans to open the complex in 2016.