This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Raphael Minder, a correspondent for The New York Times, has come up on our blog many times.

He has just published an interesting article in the International Arts section about the selection of the idea of Peace as the theme for San Sebastian’s stint as the European Culture Capital 2016.  

It’s an interesting analysis of the complaints of those, usually local politicians or artists, who opine that they have a special priority that makes them necessary to any prestigious cultural activity that is held in our country.  That is, they think that Basque society, institutions, projects, and budgets should serve their interests.  It must be their mission to increase their shine and renown, and help enlarge their accounts.

They confuse the appropriate and necessary support that a society should give its creators, artists, architects, etc., with the right to omnipresence and exclusivity, or at least priority.  They act as if the society they belong to owed them something.

Similarly, it’s quite a shame to see a minister of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain try to impose his view of reality.  Complaining at the official presentation of the multicultural “Peace Treaty” project that there was a mention of the ETA as “a political, military, and cultural phenomenon” while at the same time condemning Basque citizens for being part of the “political arm” of that terrorist group is a contradiction in and of itself.

We’ve always defined The New York Times as an true friend of the Basques, and not just because they “speak well” of the Basques, but also because they never cease to amaze us with their ability to speak about our matters with their own criteria, whether we like what they say or not.  We’ve also found their articles to be written from their own perspective, unaffected by the messages dripping with Spanish nationalism that are sent from certain centers by politicians, journalists, and economists located in the “heart” of the Kingdom of Spain.  

Nevertheless, we can’t help but make one correction to the text of the NYT article.  The attack that the ETA was preparing for the inauguration of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum was not prevented by the actions of “Spanish police,” but rather by a Basque policeman who gave his life in the line of duty.  His name was José María Aguirre, 35, married, with a 9-year-old daughter and a resident of Zalla, and he belonged to the Basque police force, the Ertzaintza.  The plaza that opens up before the museum where the floral statue of Puppy is located is named after him.  Lest he be forgotten.

The New York Times – 26/9/2016

As Culture Capital, San Sebastián Weighs the Theme of Peace

For most cities, being chosen as a European capital of culture brings a wave of positive attention, raising the profile of their arts scene and drawing international visitors. But in San Sebastián, a resort on Spain’s northern coast best known for its beaches and cutting-edge restaurants, the annual honor has become intertwined with the Basque region’s long-running disputes over identity, politics and autonomy.

(Continue)

Google translator. The NYT doesn’t always allow Google’s automatic translation.  You have to copy the text and paste it in the translator.


An exhibition at the Koldo Mitxelena Cultural Center in San Sebastián, Spain, part of the multidisciplinary project “Peace Treaty.” The city has been designated as a European capital of culture this year. Credit Dani Blanco/San Sebastián 2016 Foundation
An exhibition at the Koldo Mitxelena Cultural Center in San Sebastián, Spain, part of the multidisciplinary project “Peace Treaty.” The city has been designated as a European capital of culture this year. Credit Dani Blanco/San Sebastián 2016 Foundation

 

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