BARCELONA’S controversial decision to mount an exhibition revolving around Francisco Franco seems to have left council members with egg on their faces.
The temporary display, which has been dubbed ‘Franco, Victory, Republic, Impunity and Urban Space,’ consists of a series of sculptures which have been set up around the city. One such sculpture features a headless Franco riding a horse, whereas another pays homage to the victory of the late dictator’s troops during the Spanish Civil War.
Mere minutes after being erected, the sculptures began to cause an uproar as passersby and citizens expressed their distaste for what they were seeing. In many instances the sculptures were met with jeering and it wasn’t long before a hail of eggs began to rain down on them.
Meanwhile, a group made up of Franco victims staged a silent protest while the works were being unveiled to the public, while Catalan separatists began to chant “no fascists on our streets.”
The idea behind the sculptures seems to have been misconstrued. Barcelona deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello attempted to point out that the exhibition was not intended as a celebration of Franco’s life, but rather “an attempt to denounce the crimes of Francoism and impunity, even in democracy.”
Opponents of the figures, among them Catalan nationalists, were not convinced. Many of them argued that the exhibition only trivialises the crimes that were committed under Franco’s rule, rather than throwing the horrors of the era into stark relief.