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European Parliament vetoes exhibit featuring Catalan ‘political prisoners’

Controversial series of portraits was removed from Madrid’s ARCO art festival


30 May 2018 11:08 AM


ACN | Brussels

The European Parliament has rejected putting on display Santiago Sierra’s series of portraits featuring pro-independence leaders jailed in Madrid as ‘Political prisoners in contemporary Spain.’

The exhibit was removed from Madrid’s International Contemporary Art Festival (ARCO) last February to “avoid polemic”—a controversial decision that would eventually bring great fame to Sierra’s work of art.

Jordi Solé, a Catalan MEP and member of pro-independence Esquerra Republicana party, proposed the series of portraits to be exhibited at the European Parliament’s headquarters in Brussels. The chamber turned it down over fears that it could cause “conflicting reactions” and “interfere” with the normal functioning of the institution.

The European Parliament also rejected putting on display an exhibit focusing on “Catalonia’s constitutionalism,” proposed by unionist MEP Teresa Giménez Barbat. The Catalan MEP wanted to bring light to figures such as former president Josep Tarradellas, actor Albert Boadella, or the car bomb attack by Basque terrorist group ETA in Barcelona’s Hipercor supermarket in 1987.


  • 'Political prisoners in contemporary Spain' on display at the Museum of Lleida (by ACN)

  • 'Political prisoners in contemporary Spain' on display at the Museum of Lleida (by ACN)