The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, April 19, 2019


New Spanish leftwingers in major cities remove royal symbols from their town halls
A Barcelona's city hall employee removes a bust of Spain's former King Juan Carlos at Barcelona's city hall on July 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO.

By: Daniel Silva / Daniel Bosque


BARCELONA (AFP).- Spanish leftwingers who swept to power in several major cities last month have removed royal symbols from their town halls, renewing a debate over the nation's scandal-hit monarchy.

The moves come despite new King Felipe VI managing to restore some of the institution's popularity, which plunged following scandals during the final years of his father's reign while Spain was engulfed in an economic crisis.

The most controversial example happened in Barcelona, Spain's second-largest city, where new mayor Ada Colau on Thursday had a bronze bust of former King Juan Carlos removed from the town hall's main chamber.

Colau, a former anti-eviction activist, said the bust was an "anomaly" since Juan Carlos was no longer head of state, having handed over the throne to his son Felipe last year.

The mayor headed a left-wing coalition that won municipal elections in May, backed by new far-left party Podemos, which favours the abolition of the monarchy.

In the northeastern city of Zaragoza, the Podemos-led municipal government unilaterally decided to change the name of its main sports hall from Principe Felipe to that of a local basketball coach who died recently.

But on Monday the town hall approved a "urgent" motion to keep the name as it is, tabled by the conservative Popular Party, which rules at the national level, with the backing of two other parties.

In the southwestern city of Cadiz, which is now also governed by Podemos, the new mayor replaced a portrait of Juan Carlos in his office with one of a famous local anarchist.

The leftist town hall of Montcada i Reixac, near Barcelona, went even further. 

It removed a portrait of King Felipe VI from the town hall's main chamber -- where by law a portrait of the monarch, who is head of state, must be visible.

Historical revenge 
Abel Hernandez, a writer specialising in the Spanish royals, said it was "a sort of historical revenge" by Spain's far-left, factions of which did not take part in the country's transition to democracy following the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

"This is a left which wants to break with the system put in place by the 1978 constitution, to revise Spain's transition," Hernandez told AFP.

Franco designated Juan Carlos as his successor, who instead of continuing the dictatorship headed the transition to democracy, putting an end to decades of division that began with a 1936-39 civil war leading to Franco's rise to power.

Former Franco supporters joined hands with Socialists, Communists and Catalan nationalists to draw up Spain's 1978 constitution, establishing the country as a democratic constitutional monarchy.

Cesar de la Lama, biographer of Juan Carlos, said the town halls' actions showed "a derision against the monarchy, a lack of historical sensibility regarding the king, who contributed to bringing 40 years of stability and democracy to Spain".

The monarchy began to lose its lustre during the twilight years of Juan Carlos's reign.

He outraged Spaniards in 2012 by going elephant hunting in Botswana at the height of Spain's recession. Separately, his youngest daughter Cristina was accused in a corruption probe targeting her husband.

Only Juan Carlos's abdication in favour of his son Felipe in June 2014 managed to stop the slide in the monarchy's popularity.

But the taboo that previously existed in Spanish society against criticising the monarchy had started to erode. 

Satirical magazines published anti-monarchy cartoons on their front pages, while books with details about the royals' private lives became best-sellers.

In March, Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art featured a controversial sculpture depicting Juan Carlos being sodomised and vomiting flowers.

With far-left coalitions now in power in some major cities, the taboo is also starting to break in public institutions.

"At the moment these are only gestures but behind them is the desire to substitute the political form of the state, a parliamentary monarchy, with a republic," said Antonio Torres del Moral, a constitutional law lecturer at Spain's UNED university.

Podemos has promised to draw up a new constitution if it wins a year-end general election, which would raise the thorny issue of who acts as head of state.

"In Spain there is a very extensive republican ideology, however it is probably not dominant, and this is an issue that will have to be addressed at some point," Torres del Moral added.



© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

July 30, 2015

Teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth in one of the world's most important prehistoric sites

Randall Suffolk appointed Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director of High Museum of Art

Exhibition at Irish Museum of Modern Art brings together a significant body of works by El Lissitzky

Paintings, drawings, furniture and historical memorabilia from the French Royal family to be offered at Sotheby's

RM Sotheby's announces one of the most important Ferrari competition cars of all time for Monterey

Julien's Auctions announces annual Street Art 2015 auction featuring Banksy murals

Nottingham Contemporary's Alex Farquharson appointed new Director of Tate Britain

Sotheby's celebrates 10 Years of ground-breaking exhibitions of monumental sculpture at Chatsworth

Kelvingrove launches fundraising campaign so visitors can go Pole to Pole

New Spanish leftwingers in major cities remove royal symbols from their town halls

A spectacular work by the celebrated sculptor Bernar Venet on view in the center of Budapest

Beauty, passion and bliss: Visiting art at the Flint Institute of Arts this summer

Japan official Kimito Kubo quitting amid Tokyo 2020 stadium row over $2.0 billion price tag

Vladimir hails Vladimir: Putin fetes Russia's religious founder

'Everything is Architecture: Bau Magazine from the 60s and 70s' opens at the ICA Fox Reading Room

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts receives major NEH grant for collections storage

The National Archives welcomes millionth visitor in fiscal year 2015

Lisson Gallery now representing John Akomfrah

80 artists selected for UK's most prestigious watercolour show

Austrian artist Tobias Pils' first exhibition at Galerie Gisela Capitain on view in Cologne

Over 10,000 Finns rally in support of multiculturalism

Backyard: Uri Katzenstein exhibits at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

A painting celebrating Somerset's seafaring history has been acquired by the Museum of Somerset

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Apple releases Spring 2019 iPhone cases and watch bands with 'Delft Blue' color in the lead

2.- Star Trek: Year Five #1 original cover art by Greg Hildebrandt Surfaces at Heritage Auctions

3.- Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York's Met museum

4.- Historic jewels and exceptional gemstones highlight Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction

5.- French museum renames masterpieces after black subjects

6.- Heathrow Terminal 5 exhibits skeleton of new species of dinosaur

7.- Missing Rubens sketch goes for $1.4 mn at auction

8.- The Museo del Prado opens 'Giacometti in the Museo del Prado'

9.- Inrap archaeologists discover an Etruscan tomb in a hypogeum in Aleria

10.- Picasso in Ivory Coast? A village tells of its brush with the artist



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful