Spanish police starts removing works of art in the middle of the night

Confrontation between police officers and protesters over the removal of the disputed Sixena pieces

Some vehicles ready for the removal of artworks ouside Lleida museum
Some vehicles ready for the removal of artworks ouside Lleida museum / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 11, 2017 08:21 AM

Spain's Guardia Civil police entered the museum of Lleida, in western Catalonia, in the middle of the night this Monday in order to remove the disputed Sixena artworks. Some ten police vans with officers and art specialists arrived at around 4am, along with a moving van. Around 50 people were outside the museum in order to protest about the police operation.
Tensions rise between protesters and police
As the hours go by, more people are gathering in the spot, although a fence separates them from the museum and the police vehicles, and also despite the rain. Indeed, the tension between protesters and police officers is mounting. After several hours, the officials who entered the cultural building at 4am have not removed the works of art yet.
Last week, a judge in Aragon ruled that the art pieces could be removed from this Monday at midnight. This move came only 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. This is the latest chapter of a long legal dispute over the works between both administrations. Catalonia is in a more difficult position now, since it is directly ruled by Madrid and its ministers were deposed on October 27.