censorship, censure and nonsense

An email with the subject line ‘escultura censurada’ caught my attention a couple of days ago and had me wondering whether the sculpture in question had been censured or censored.

fountain - el baño de Ataecina

Reading on, I think both verbs were appropriate.

The sculpture referred to is a work by Fernando Sánchez Blanco, a local artist and teacher who made the marvellous wild boar shown in the post Hunter of Dreams. El Baño de Ataecina had been installed in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento of Arenas de San Pedro a while back, funded by the ‘Plan E’ (Plan Español para el Estímulo de la Economía y el Empleo).

But Spain had local elections a couple of months ago, and the local council is back in the hands of the PP, who, quite naturally, want nothing to do with most of the changes made by the PSOE.

According to the press release I was sent, the PP censured the sculpture as:

de mal gusto, pornográfica y sexista además de estar al lado de la iglesia y a la vista de los niños que juegan en la plaza.

Thay have apparently acted as censors, too, and had the piece removed.

I’d walked past that sculpture on any number of occasions, and although it didn’t appeal to me, I wouldn’t have said it was de mal gusto and I can’t see why it should have been removed.

I wish now that I had looked closer; perhaps there would have been a plaque explaining what it was about. I only know that the two figures, Ataecina and Vaelico, are gods from Vetton mythology. Why they should be depicted as merfolk, which is what it looks like to me, I have no idea, particularly as some on-line research leads me to believe they may be an equivalent of Proserpina and Pluto and I don’t associated the underworld with mermaids.

Sadly, if the statue has been removed, I can’t go and look at it to find out quite what made it ‘pornographic and sexist’. The photo above – trimmed from one sent with the press release – certainly shows that one of the two figures has the upper body of a well-endowed female, but surely that’s no reason to ban a sculpture in the twenty-first century. Not even if it was ‘close to the church and in sight of the children who play in the square.’

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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