Jaume Matas, the central minister of the environment, was in Majorca yesterday to present the future Visitors Centre at the Colonia de Sant Jordi in Ses Salines, which will provide information on the National Park of Cabrera. The centre will take 18 months to build and will cost 15 million euros, Matas said. Joan Burguera, the Mayor of Ses Salines, thanked the ministry for its collaboration, and also for having declared the municipality an “area of influence” of the National Park, as this will open the door to subventions. The Visitors Centre is the brainchild of the Autonomous National Parks Organism. It will have three storeys and is inspired in the traditional architecture of the Balearic coast. It will reproduce an ancient talaiot or prehistoric monument, and most of it will be underground. The centre will have 14 aquariums, an underwater section, an area for interpreting the environment and a projection room showing audiovisuals on the network of national parks. Entrance to the centre will be via a ramp which goes under a pond, while above the visitors' heads there will be a breakwater which gives the impression of being submerged under water. Outside there will be gardens and ponds imitating the sea, with models representing the marine fauna of the Mediterranean. A group of young people from all over the island, taking advantage of the minister's visit, descended on Ses Salines to stage a protest against the construction of a promenade in Colonia de Sant Jordi. The promenade is one of the central ministry's star projects for the area. The protesters said that they were “people who loved the island,” and said that they did not belong to the committee which has been formed to oppose construction of the promenade. They heckled Matas during his speech.

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