Vandals topple statue of disgraced politician
Alex Dunham · 30 Sep 2014, 13:06
Published: 30 Sep 2014 13:06 GMT+02:00
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Residents of the small town of Premià de Dalt woke up on Tuesday to find a bronze effigy of the ‘father of modern Catalan nationalism’ face down on the grass.
It’s not yet known who pulled it down from the pedestal it had stood on since its erection in the middle of Can Verboom park in 2011.
Municipal authorities attempted to put the sculpture back up again but were unable to due to safety reasons, Catalan daily El Periódico reported.
The statue has become a symbol of protest ever since Pujol announced in late July that his family had kept millions in undeclared money hidden abroad for over 30 years.
On September 11th, Catalonia’s National Day, the sculpture was paint-bombed by critics who also wanted to show their discontent at the town hall’s decision to keep the scandal-hit politician’s municipal honours, including a square named after him and the title of “Adopted Son of Premià de Dalt”.
Jordi Pujol denied claims of corruption during a highly anticipated appearance in the region's parliament on Friday.
"I can say I was not a corrupt politician. There was no corruption and no trading of favours," the 84 year old, Catalonia's president from 1980 to 2003, told the ‘Parlament’.
Pujol asked to delay his parliamentary appearance until after Catalonia’s national day and the passing of a bill which would allow the November 9th independence referendum to take place, in order to not divert attention from the two events.
But there are many people within Spain who still feel his family’s hidden cash scandal has undermined the region’s separatist cause as he was once seen as one of the main figureheads and supporters of an independent Catalonia.