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A heavenly vision

The campaign to canonise Antoni Gaudí continues. Catholic campaigners have delivered a petition to the Vatican calling for ‘God’s architect’ to become a saint, not just because of his work at the Sagrada Família, but also because of his extreme piety. Towards the end of his life, the heavily bearded Gaudí, who was knocked down by a tram and killed in 1926, took to wandering the streets of his native Barcelona dressed in rags and nibbling bread crusts. Now Gaudí supporters are seeking out miracles involving the architect, which are a prerequisite for canonisation. They have so far managed to track down a student who says Gaudí helped her pass her exams, and a woman who claims he cured her kidney stone. But the trump card comes from Stephanie Pfeil, a German artist living in Barcelona, who claims she was woken one morning by a vision of Gaudí. ‘He wanted to tell me something very important,’ Pfeil relates, ‘but I could not hear him as I had my earplugs in.’ Now, Astragal is not a cynic, but he has had some experience of incomprehensible, dishevelled, bearded figures approaching him, particularly late at night outside the RIBA. And if Pfeil’s experience is anything like Astragal’s, then the bleary figure will inevitably turn out to former AJ news editor Ed Dorrell, and the important message he will be trying to impart will be ‘one more for the road?’.

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