Spain looks at scrapping pricey MP portraits
Alex Dunham · 12 Jun 2013, 14:03
Published: 12 Jun 2013 14:03 GMT+02:00
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Spain’s United Left party (Izquierda Unida) is pushing for official portraits to be scrapped and they have tens of thousands of signatures to back them up.
“Photos are always cheaper,” said a spokesperson for the left-wing alliance Izquierda Plural.
“They would also serve to preserve the documentary interest in a better way than just hanging a pretentious and luxurious portrait on the wall of some government building or other.”
One “ostentatious” portrait of former Parliament President José Bono cost a whopping €82,000 ($109,000).
Spanish members of parliament have traditionally been invited to have their portrait painted when leaving their post.
The works of art, which are usually hung in a gallery inside the Spanish Parliament, are created by the minister’s artist of choice.
This explains why Francisco Álvarez Cascos, deputy Prime Minister during Aznar's term in office from 1996 to 2000, chose none other than master realist Antonio Lopez as the artist to depict him.