Hapsburg portrait is back at the town hall

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Archduke Carlos was proclaimed king of Valencia in 1705.

THE Valencia Region backed the wrong side in the Spanish War of Succession by rooting for the Hapsburgs in the early 17th century.

Archduke Carlos was proclaimed king of Valencia in 1705, but the Spanish crown eventually went to the Borbon contender Felipe V instead.  

Old memories die hard which is why Felipe, who burnt Xativa to the ground in 1707, is so loathed that his portrait still hangs upside down there.

Denia, too, has a long memory and in 2008 the town hall, then in the hands of a PSPV-Bloc alliance, acquired an 18th century portrait of the Archduke at a Madrid auction for €2,700. It was hung in the council chamber, remaining there until the Partido Popular came to power and removed when the room was redecorated.

It was never put back but the current local government has tracked down the portrait in a municipal store. The Archduke has now been returned to the council chamber, which he amicably shares with his direct descendant, Felipe V.

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