Juan María García Otero

Birth Date: 8th September 1942
Birth Place: Betanzos (A Coruña)

He entered Francisco Aguiar School in Betanzos and was the youngest student who passed the entrance examination in 1952. He studied Mercantile Expertise in A Coruña from 1957 to 1961. In 1965 and 1966 he worked as an administrative officer at Almacenes Carrero in Santa Eugenia de Ribeira. From 1967 to 1980 he held several positions in A Coruña and Ferrol as office worker, associate and director of several companies related to the car sector (Citroen, Renault, Comprauto SL, Virauto SL) and others related to services and foreign trade (Silga SL). In 1980 he moved to Madrid and collaborated with a foreign trade and maritime transport company. In 1982 he became director of a French firm with a branch in Spain (Polistrat S.A.) that made products and systems for the construction and restoration of buildings (Ahorro Energético SL) until 1984. It was then that he entered as marketing and development manager of SICOF in Spain that belongs to ELF AQUITANE.
In those years SICOF was one of the first European companies of products and systems for maintenance and restoration of buildings with a wide range of products for the restoration of cultural Heritage and an important R & D section in the central office of Reims. He travelled all around Europe for five years within a training and development process, observing actively some of the most important restoration works carried out during those years: The Louvre, Cologne Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Reims Cathedral, The Duomo in Milan and Notre Dame in Paris, among others. During this period of time, he was in touch with the architects and restorers of these big works, which were the basis of his training on maintenance and restoration of cultural Heritage. He left SICOF at the beginning of 1990 and took a sabbatical year. From 1991 to 1993 he formed part of a restoration company (Sistemas de Restauración SL) together with other architects. The crisis of 1992 made him abandon this project in 1993.
One year later he founded a magazine, Restauración y Rehabilitación (R&R), first on his own and two years later supported by Prensa Española General de Revistas (ABC). After running R&R for three years, Prensa Española SA decided to sell the whole publishing group to América Ibérica SA in 1998. Until 2004 he edited R&R, it was then that he left his job because of disagreements with the president related to opinion tendencies and contents of the magazine. In 2005 he returned to Betanzos to attend some business created with a group of friends in 2002.
From 1994 to 2004 he wrote over a hundred opinion and research articles and was the author of several important magazines (Federico Mayor Zaragoza when he was director general of the UNESCO in Paris, Álvaro Siza (Porto), Gian Luigi Colalucci (Italy) and Rafael Moneo, all of them published in R&R). He also wrote tens of national and international reports about Cultural Heritage all around the world (Sweden, France, Italy, Peru, England, Tunisia, USA, etc). He also published over forty offprints (20 pages each) about different cultural themes related to the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage.
In 1999 he founded and edited Arte y Subastas (América Ibérica).
He was the author of the following books:
-Ciudades Españolas Patrimonio de la Humanidad. El Arte en el Camino. It is possibly one of the most didactic books about monuments and styles that mark out the French Way to Compostela.
-Álvaro Siza “particular visión de la arquitectura”. La Facultad de Ciencias de la Información de Santiago de Compostela. The book has a prologue of José Saramago.
-Guía de las subastas de Arte en España.
In collaboration with the AECI (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation), he directed and edited three books about the development of school workshops in Latin America and their restoration criteria.
In 1996 he promoted the 1st Conference on Cultural Heritage organized in Spain by the Xunta de Galicia (SIPAC) in Santiago de Compostela (1997).
He was also the author of the project, as well as coordinator and lecturer, of the 1st and 2nd Latin American Conference on Cultural Heritage (2001-2003- Ifema, Madrid) with over 160 lecturers from all over the world such as Eusebio Leal, Jorge Edwars and José Jimenez Lozano and over four hundred entries. He directed and collaborated in the book and CD of the reports of those conferences and the 1st Saloon of Cultural Heritage in Ifema with over sixty five exhibitors. Both events were inaugurated by Her Majesty The Queen.
He was also a member of the panel of Reina Sofía Heritage Prize.
He was also a member of the panel of several prizes organized by Gabarrón Foundation in Valladolid and La Casa Grande in Torrejón de Ardoz.
He participated as a rapporteur in several lectures for over fourteen years. He also participated in master’s degrees in Restoration and Cultural Heritage at the following universities: Europea, CEU, Alcalá de Henares, Burgos, Valladolid, Badajoz, Canarias (Lanzarote), Salamanca, Seville and Catania (Italy).
Together with other people he created ARESPA (Association of Restoration Companies in Spain) in 2000. The firm includes the fifty most important companies of the architectural restoration sector.
Since he came back to Galicia, he wrote several articles about different social and cultural themes, published in La Voz de Galicia and Anuario de Betanzos¸ among others.
From October to December 2002 and 2003, he attended courses organized by the Association of Reina Sofía National Museum in Madrid. The courses (“El Arte Contemporáneo y su intrusión a lo largo del tiempo en nuestra sociedad”), directed by Professor Francisco Calvo Serraller, were given by some of the best experts in the world.
He forms part of a publishing house (G 7 Patrimonio y gestión Siglo XXI S L.) that edits Restauro.
Some years ago he began to write a book about Maestro Mateo and the Porch of Glory and the 12th century.