The International Forum of Cultures which was held in Barcelona between May and September of 2004 generated a huge amount of controversy, the cloud of which still lingers over the venue that kept the name of «Forum».
The original event, the Forum of Cultures, was intended as a space for bringing together people of all nationalities through an extensive agenda of intellectual and artistic events. These included conferences, dialogues, exhibitions, music, and theatre performances. Defined by the three main themes of cultural diversity, sustainable development and conditions for peace, the Forum attracted over 3 million visitors in almost 5 months.
Concept and controversy aside, we take a look at the Forum site of today and what facilities are currently offered. The Forum site itself consists of indoor and outdoor spaces. Its Convention Centre can hold up to 3,500 people, whilst the Parc dels Auditori has a capacity of 8,000 people in the large auditorium and 3,000 in the smaller one. Industry specific World Congresses, seminars, and conferences also continue to take place here.
Since the closure of the international event in 2004, the Forum Commission have been developing the leisure facilities in an attempt to establish a reputation as a worthwhile destination for the city’s many visitors. Taking advantage of its seafront location, a supervised 2 hectare swimming area with shallow areas for swimmers, and kayak and canoe rental service is open during the summer from May to October. A «Reef Park» or «Parc dels Esculls» has also been set up.