A Spanish mayor has replaced a portrait of King Felipe with his Republican predecessor.
Mayor Toni has only recently taken office after an agreement between the socialist PSOE and the left-wing Podemos agreed on a mayor sharing agreement. Despite only recently taking up his office, he has already caused a stir in Spain by removing the head of state’s portrait.
Toni Noguera, the mayor of Palma on the island of Majorca, has replaced the portrait with a picture of Dr Emili Darder. He served as Mayor of Palma in 1933 and fought for the autonomy of the Balearic Islands of which Majorca is a part of. Darder fought for improvement in the water systems of the city as well as tackling unemployment.
Darder was a Republican and as such he was an enemy of the nationalists. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 led to rebels capturing Darder. He was condemned to death and executed by shooting in 1937.
According to Mayor Toni, the picture of Darder is more appropriate in his study than King Felipe.
There have been other cases in Spain of officials removing portraits of the King in favour of republican pictures or indeed none at all.
In 2015, Barcelona removed a statue of King Juan Carlos I of Spain who abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son. The bust was removed after a review of royalist symbols in the council buildings of Barcelona. Barcelona’s deputy mayor said at the time, “The monarchy is over-represented in terms of iconography and symbols in the municipal buildings and in the city.”
At the time, the Spanish foreign minister made their opinions highly clear calling the matter “tremendously petty” and reminding that the mayor owed her position to the work of Juan Carlos, “Catalonia has a regime of self-governance and prosperity like never before, thanks to the transition that was piloted by Juan Carlos.”