• actor-network theory;
  • Galicia;
  • iconic structures;
  • politics;
  • Spain


Monumental constructions are created for a purpose, often as a symbolic representation of a particular vision of a people or a place. Spain's Cidade da Cultura, a museum conceptualized by Galicia's former president with the hubristic goal of creating a world icon, is one such example. Like many iconic constructions, the Cidade da Cultura project was highly contentious and sparked a regionwide political debate, vastly overran its projected cost, and years later remains controversial and incomplete. An actor-network theory analysis of why the project failed reveals the different roles played by individual components in the vast network of actors, including the monument itself, which came to exercise influence over the outcome of the project. Because the former president could not fully control this expanding network of actors, events soon spun out of control in what became popularly known as “Galicia's Hurricane.”