From the Spanish edition ofÂ The LocalÂ (thanks to Esmeralda)
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the ruling Emir of Qatar, has reportedly offered to invest â‚¬2.2 billion ($2.99 billion) over 5 years to convert Barcelona’s Monumental bullring into a 40,000-capacity mosque which would be the biggest in Europe. (until someone builds a bigger one)
The planned mosque, featuring a 300m minaret would be the third-largest in the world outside Mecca and Medina, and would include a conference hall, a 300-capacity Koran study centre and a museum of Islamic art and history.
Monumental was opened in 1914 and became famous as a venue for bullfighting and music concerts. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen have all played there. No bullfights have been held at Monumental since the activity was banned by the Catalan regional government in 2010 and the building is now used as a bullfighting museum.
Spanish daily 20 Minutos reported via sources close to the project that the building’s current owners, the BalaÃ±a Group, had already agreed the sale and that the next stage would be to secure the agreement of the city council. The BalaÃ±a group have not, however, confirmed this.
Despite its sizeable Muslim community, Barcelona is the only major European city that does not have a mosque (I don’t believe that Athens has one either)
Note the Qatari influence again. Their money built the massiveÂ new mosque in CopenhagenÂ which opened last week, the one Queen Margrethe wisely declined to attend.