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Posted by portugalpress on September 10, 2018

Another iconic building in Olhão has “bitten the dust” to make way reportedly for a modern apartment block.

The dismal news is doing the rounds of social media today, with heartbreaking video footage of the few moments it took to destroy Centro Desportivo Os Olhanenses, another much-loved landmark.

Artist Meinke Flesseman - whose latest exhibition of works created in an old gymnasium in the town has just gone on show in Portimão Museum - uploaded the footage of a JCB in action, saying: “What sadness in Avenida da República. Destroyed in seconds”.

Expat resident Jane Cumberbatch has featured a beautiful photograph of the building’s blue and white ‘azulejo’ (tile) covered façade, saying: “Have just learnt that my favourite #olhao tiles have been bulldozed to the ground this morning to make way for more dismal apartments. Another long term mistake for a short term gain but who cares when there’s loadsa money to make”.

Jane Cumberbatch told us that when she first bought her home-from-home 12 years ago, the then mayor was “even less interested” in architectural heritage than today’s man at the top, António Pina.

“So many buildings were being wantonly destroyed” in those days. But now that Olhão has become a ‘tourist destination’, the ‘loadsamoney’ attitude “continues to persuade the council that it is perfectly fine to strip the town of its visual beauty and architectural heritage. They can’t see the bigger picture…”, she said.

Local Portuguese are just as saddened, with endless commentary alluding to “killing the bird that lays the golden eggs”.

“When people realise that the Algarve isn’t just about the beach, it’ll be too late”, said one.

Others are simply “outraged”, posting crying emojis, furious exclamation marks and general lamentations for the state of the minds and souls of all those in positions of authority.