Catalan parties say Sixena works of art removal is a “humiliation”
Political groups reject the removal of Sixena works of art, while Spanish president says judicial decision must be respected
The removal of 44 disputed artworks from the Museum of Lleida has entered into the electoral debate. In recent weeks, the removal of the items has been a hot issue, and the members of several political parties have spoken up.
Spanish government “steals” Sixena artworks, says Puigdemont
The main candidate for Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Carles Puigdemont, accused the Spanish government of taking advantage of the enforcement of Article 155, which he considered a “coup d’état,” to “steal” the Sixena works of art “with absolute impunity.” “This is the kind of country that Ciutadans, the Socialists and the PP want,” he stated.
Thus, Puigdemont, who is currently in Belgium after being deposed by the Spanish government, accused the Spanish government of using Madrid's takeover of Catalonia's self-rule in order to plunder the Sixena works of art.
Meanwhile, the president of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, justified the removal of the pieces from the Museum of Lleida. "Judicial decisions must be followed,” he said. Rajoy added that the Spanish government accepts and complies with judicial decisions.
A “humiliation,” states ERC MP
The ERC’s MP in the Spanish Congress, Joan Tardà, stated that the removal of the Sixena works of art is a “humiliation” and asked citizens to remember it when voting in the upcoming election. “We should remember this humiliation when voting on December 21,” said Tardà.
Tardà, who was present outside the Lleida museum in order to protest against the police operation, described Spain’s decision as a “disgrace,” as he considered that the Spanish government is using Article 155 to remove the artworks instead of waiting for a final judicial decision.
According to ERC’s MP in the Spanish Congress, the removal of Sixena works of art is an example of what will happen if parties who backed the enforcement of Article 155 win in the upcoming election.
“We should remember this humiliation when voting on December 21”
Joan Tardà · ERC MP in the Spanish Congress
“Double humiliation” for Lleida’s citizens
The candidate for Together for Catalonia (JxCat), Xavier Quinquillà, said that the removal of the pieces from the Lleida museum is a “double humiliation” for the people of Lleida. He argued that the removal of the items is a cultural “despoiling”, and also accused the mayor of the city, Angel Ros, of backing the enforcement of Article 155 from the Lleida City Council.
“Spain wants to humiliate us,” says CUP candidate
The main candidate for the CUP in Lleida, Mireia Boya, accused the Spanish government of aiming to seize the works of art as if they were a “spoil of war.” “Spain wants to humiliate us,” she said.
Spanish culture minister ordered removal
The items were removed in order to bring them back to their original location in Sixena, a town in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon. Despite being legally bought by Catalonia, on November 15 a judge in Huesca upheld a request by the Sixena local authority and ruled that the works of art must be returned.
Last week, a judge in Aragon ruled that the art pieces could be removed until this Monday, at midnight. This move came only a few days after the Spanish Culture minister, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, ordered the pieces to be moved from Catalonia to Aragon, while the Spanish government directly controls the Catalan administration.