1 May, 2019 @ 11:18
1 min read

Former boss of Spain’s Alhambra Palace accused of using monument’s audio guides to embezzle up to €12 MILLION

alhambra e
The Alhambra in Granada is Spain’s most visited site

THE former boss of Spain’s most visited monument has been accused of embezzling millions of euros from the sale of its audio guides.

Maria del Mar Villafranca is set to be prosecuted after a four year investigation into irregularities in the running of the Alhambra Palace came to a head this week.

Villafranca, who was director of the monument from 2006 to 2015, will stand trial alongside former secretary of the site Victoria Chamorro and the head of the company contracted to provide the audio guides.

It comes after a judge ruled yesterday that the trio can be prosecuted after finding evidence of embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.

Alhambra’s former head of accounting and a further employee from GTP Museum and Stendhal Museum Solutions will also face prosecution.

ACCUSED: Villafranca was director of the Alhambra for almost a decade

The Unit of Economic and Fiscal Crime of the Policia Nacional (UDEF) prepared a report in which it estimated around €7 million was siphoned off by the plot.

Another audit report sanctioned by the Junta de Andalucia placed the possible embezzlement in the realm of €12 million.

During her last testimony before the examining magistrate last summer, Villafranca maintained her innocence, saying she felt victimized by the so-called Audioguide case.

Villafranca was also being investigated for irregular hirings but the case never made it to court due to a technicality.

The accused could appear before a judge by next week.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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