'Vicky Cristina Woody Barcelona?': Woody Allen Museum Planned For Catalan City

Woody Allen is well respected in Spanish film circles and may soon be immortalized by the first museum in the world dedicated to the popular actor/director and his work. The plans are the dream-child of the Mediapro group, whose founder Jaume Roures is not only a personal friend of Allen, but also produced three of his films.

At present, Mediapro are eying the former School of Arts and Crafts in Barcelona, known as "La Llotja," as the ideal spot to immortalize the work of the New York director. The historic building was abandoned in December 2009 and classes were reportedly moved elsewhere.

To be named the Woody Allen Center, the property is owned by the Generalitat de Catalunya, which is planning to launch a competition to suggest suitable projects to retrofit the famous building. Mediapro are hoping that they will be the winners.

Woody Allen
La Llotja - possible location for the world's first Woody Allen museum

Under the guise of the Woody Allen Center, Mediapro will present detailed documentation of the suggested project. According to Roures, his friend the Hollywood star was initially surprised, but on viewing the details of the planned project, Woody Allen gave his full approval and even applauded the plan.

A spokesman from Mediapro told the Local: "The Woody Allen project is under discussion but I can't say more yet."

If plans go ahead successfully, the property would offer three floors of memorabilia and information on Woody Allen's work and a ticket price would be "similar to that of a movie ticket."

One thing the museum will naturally not lack is references to the 2008 Oscar-winning film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, filmed mostly in the city, where a local artist played by Javier Bardem seduces two tourists, Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson, while trying to deal with his troubled wife played by his real-life marriage partner, Penélope Cruz. The trailer is included at the end of this article.

Woody Allen
From left: Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen

The museum will immortalize Allen's work including the frequent themes of his filmography, of love, humor, death, religion and sex.

According to the Spanish language La Vanguardia, the neoclassical building was built in 1883 and is located in the Plaza de la Verónica in Barcelona's historic city center. According to Mediapro the building requires extensive renovations to make it suitable to house the museum and these could take up to two years to complete.

Woody Allen has already been immortalized in Oviedo, Spain where a bronze life-size statue appears to be strolling down a busy shopping street. Oviedo was another city featured in the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona and its residents have not forgotten.

It seems that Mediapro are confident of winning the competition, as banners have already been placed on the historic building.

In rather more controversial news on Woody Allen, the Inquisitr recently reported that Mariel Hemingway revealed that Allen tried to take her away to Paris when she was only 18 years old.

[Images: Woody Allen and Soon-Yi in Barcelona CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Carlos Lorenzo, La Llotja - School of Arts and Crafts CC BY-SA 3.0 PMRMaeyaert]