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granada la bella blog

About this blog

Here you will find my personal view about selected events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible', Granada, 'la bella y la bestia', and particularly about the city's uneasy relationship with its greatest son, Federico Garcia Lorca, who alternatively loved and loathed it.


la bestia Posted on Sun, June 12, 2011 00:29:51

This is a follow-up to my blog
about the the
statue dedicated to Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in front of the Palacio
Bibtaubin (
The Right want to keep it; the Left want to scrap it. The Right say it’s a work
of art and politics doesn’t matter. The Left say it’s a monstrosity and an
insult to the victims of Franco’s fascist regime.

Well, in their strategy of
eulogising the statue as a work of art, and so being worthy of preservation, the
right-wing PP (Partido Popular)-controlled city council decided in favour of naming a
public square in the city after its creator, the sculptor Francisco López
Burgos, winner of the 1954 National Sculpture Prize, so evidently a great
artist. The aim of the city council is to rehabilitate the name of said sculptor
and to rescue him from the ostracism he has suffered in modern (post-Franco)
times, thus giving official recognition to his artistic work as being “above” politics. That would include this piece, dedicated as we said to Jose Antonio.

The council picked on a square called
‘Plaza del Rocio’ for Lopez Burgos’s rehabilitation
but this quickly met with neighbourhood opposition. They didn’t have anything
against Mr Lopez Burgos, they said, but they rather preferred the traditional
name Rocio, which the Square had been called for 40 years. Thwarted, the PP
Mayor now hopes to find a not-yet-named square in a new part of town, but with
the crisis and construction stop, this is likely to be problematic for a while.

an initiative of leftist artists and intellectuals has come up with the idea of
erecting a statue in honour of the recently deceased flamenco singer Enrique
Morente in place of the one dedicated to the founder of the Falange, Jose
Antonio de Rivera. The initiative is supported by flamenco artists, actors,
writers, journalists, and politicians, who argue that Morente is a symbol of
the struggle for freedom and civic harmony, which of course could never be said of Jose Antonio,
whose anti-democratic ideas divided Spanish society.

This puts the PP on the spot, because
although everyone knows Morente was a leftie, he was also undeniably one of the
greatest artists in Granada’s recent history, maybe the greatest, with an
international reputation for his innovative contributions to that so Andalusian
of art forms, el flamenco. And though they may have more sympathy with Jose
Antonio for his right-wing politics, – this Lopez Burgos, well, in spite of his
1954 sculpture prize, he just doesn’t have remotely comparable artistic
credentials. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with, and if the
Morente proposal prospers.

Images. 1: Granada la bella. 2: La bestia.

Source: Granada Hoy, 27.02.2011

Huerta del Tamarit – under threat?

Federico Garcia Lorca Posted on Sun, June 12, 2011 00:17:44

Back in
the 1970s, almost before Franco’s corpse had grown cold, the good people of Granada
woke up to the fact that the Huerta de
San Vicente
, that had been the Lorca family summer residence from the
mid-1920s until the start of the Spanish Civil War, was under threat from an
Urban Development Plan which drew a city access road right through the middle
of the property. Practically at the last minute, this plan was redrawn or
withdrawn and the Huerta was saved,
so that it could become the cultural tourist attraction it is today.

Today, 35
years later, the Huerta del Tamarit
faces a similar threat from a city access road that is supposed to link the
centre of Granada with the Outer Ring Road, which in turn will link the Motril
motorway with the Seville-Murcia A92. This access road is planned to pass through
the grounds and within 30 metres of the finca,
the country house, before linking up with the Neptuno exit to the circunvalacion (ring road).

The Huerta del Tamarit belonged to an uncle
of the poet’s, Francisco García Rodríguez, and is situated nearby on the Vega,
closer to the River Genil, just behind the Inmaculada
Clinic, which is opposite the Science Museum. [I took the photo above myself a few years ago.] Francisco bought his huerta just a couple of years before his
brother, Federico, Lorca’s father, bought his. It was a favourite haunt of
Lorca’s and lent its name to the remarkable poetry collection Diván del
, a worthy successor to the
more accessible ‘Gypsy Ballad Book’. His cousin, Clotilde García
Picossi, lived there. Among other things she inspired the green dress episode
in La Casa de Bernarda Alba. She was
also a model for Doña
Rosita la soltera.
Her fiancé was Máximo Delgado
García, another (second?) cousin, who emigrated to Argentina and let the
relationship slide into oblivion, at least from his point of view.

The Huerta is also one of the few remaining
examples of the classical huerta
, whose roots go back to Moorish times: a more or less
self-sufficient living unit comprising a family house, with a garden or patio
to enjoy leisure and pleasure time, at the centre, surrounded by orchards and
vegetable gardens, and beyond that more extensive areas of land for the
cultivation of cereals and other staples.

It would
be a crime to let it disappear.

But it
won’t, of that I am confident. Partly because initiatives such as the Platform
in Defence of the Vega de Granada are
mobilising against such a calamity. Secondly, because even right-wing
politicians are aware of the value of the Lorca Legacy – even if he was a homo,
a leftie, and a lover of Moors and gypsies: all things despised by the right,
in Granada as elsewhere. And thirdly, for ‘economic reasons’. The nineteenth century local writer, Angel
Ganivet, whose legacy Lorca and his like-minded contemporaries inherited, had
observed long ago that many potential aberrations in the history of the city’s
development were avoided thanks to the unhappy refrain ‘ay, que no hay dinero’
(there’s no money for it). Worse, commented Ganivet, was when there was money!

today’s economic climate, work on the Outer Ring is already at a standstill and
I trust that this project is already dead in the water.

Europa Press and Radio Granada, June 2011.