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Under Manrique's supervision - he, indeed devoted his whole life to his native island - the Island Council of Lanzarote created the Center of Arts, Culture and Tourism. Each branch shows different aspects of the island's landscape and culture and the three together synthesizes the charasteristics of Lanzarote thanks to the talent and sensitiveness of the artist who was born there and felt a deep attachment , a mixture of love and fascination, for his island as his works and words prove.

His Life
He was born in Lanzarote in 1919 and was famous in the Canary Islands as early as 1938. In 1948 his work received the consecration it deserved in Madrid. In 1963 some of his works were exhibited in America and the Press hailed him, with all the honours due to his talent.Back in the Canary Islands in 1968, Manrique sadly realized the harmful effects of tourism on the landscape. The fever of building new hotels had seized developers and promoters, regardless of the beauty of the environment. Manrique went back to Madrid, to fight a battle and force the government to declare his island "a place of special interest for tourism".

Thus he became the one in charge of initiatives and decisions concerning the protection and development of the island : no more aggressive advertizing, but white-washed houses, clearly restricted tourist zones instead, and blocks of flats of four-storeys maximum, in keeping with the style of the island.From then on, Manrique settled in Lanzarote and dedicated all his time to his life's work : Lanzarote. He built his own house in lava caves in Taro de Tahiche, later it became The César Manrique Foundation. It was completed in 1968, on a lava flow dating back to the eruption of 1780-1786. The lower part occupies five amazingly spacious caves, which shows how to use natural space wisely. The exterior and the upper part are inspired by the traditional architecture of the island.

Here and there, all over the island, Manrique created original pieces of work which blend with the particular landscape of the island to perfection. He also took care of the planning and development of the tourist complex of Costa Teguise.

Unfortunately Manrique, who was a painter, a sculptor and architect, an environmentalist, the curator of monuments, a technical construction adviser, a designer and coodinator in the creation of landscapes and urban complexes,died in a car-crash in 1992. He still had plans for Lanzarote and the Canary Islands at large.


His Work
Manrique was the representative of Spanish Committee for the MaB Program. He was a pioneer when he proposed to declare Lanzarote a reserve of the Biosphere, by encouraging a process whose result he could not see, unhappily. His works, integrated in the landscape under the name symbiosis Art-Nature / Nature-Art, was considered one of the elements which inspired the declaration, for it is an example of man's harmonious action on his environment.

Manrique's works, his thoughts and his proposals concerning his native island have been steps towards an "acceptable development" long before the expression was created.

His works in Lanzarote :
Jameos del Agua, Fundación de Manrique
, Castillo de San Miguel, Cueva de los Verdes, Restaurante del Diablo - Montañas del Fuego, Jardín de Cactus, Mirador del Río, Monumento al Campesino, Móviles...

 
 
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