Giant telescope consortium to seek Spain building permit

FILE - In this Sunday, July 14, 2019, file photo, the sun sets behind telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The man tasked with trying to f

FILE - In this Sunday, July 14, 2019, file photo, the sun sets behind telescopes at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The man tasked with trying to f

FILE - In this July 15, 2019, file photo, demonstrators block a road at the base of Hawaii's tallest mountain, in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to protest the co

FILE - In this July 15, 2019, file photo, demonstrators block a road at the base of Hawaii's tallest mountain, in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to protest the co

Astronomers Alan Stockton, center, holding a sign saying "Built It!," and Alan Tokunaga, left, join a rally in support the Thirty Meter Telescope outs

Astronomers Alan Stockton, center, holding a sign saying "Built It!," and Alan Tokunaga, left, join a rally in support the Thirty Meter Telescope outs

Supporters of the Thirty Meter Telescope, foreground, gather for a rally outside the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu on Thursday, July 25, 2019, as o

Supporters of the Thirty Meter Telescope, foreground, gather for a rally outside the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu on Thursday, July 25, 2019, as o

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The director of a Spanish research center says an international consortium that planned to build a giant telescope on Hawaii's tallest peak has decided to seek a permit for an alternative site in the Canary Islands.

Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo told The Associated Press on Monday that he received a letter from the head of the Thirty Meter Telescope project saying the board decided "to proceed with the request to seek a building permit" for the island of La Palma.

Rebolo insists the telescope's backers still want to put the telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Native Hawaiian protesters are in their fourth week of blocking construction of the telescope on a mountain they consider sacred.