• Spain's news in English

Spanish bullfighting should have Unesco protection: pro-bulls group

The Local · 7 Dec 2015, 15:52

Published: 07 Dec 2015 15:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

While many foreigners continue to believe Spaniards spend their Saturday evenings packed into the country's iconic bullfighting arenas, the past-time has actually long played second (or third fiddle) to sports like football and motor racing in the public imagination.

In fact, the sport has fallen seriously out of favour in Spain in recent decades. A recent poll showed that fewer that in one in four people in Spain have any interest in it. And that same survey also found some 60 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are in favour of a ban on the activity.

In fact bullfighting and bull runs are already banned in the regions of Catalonia and the Canary Islands, while a town in the region of Valencia recently also recently voted to stop holding bullfighting events during local fiestas.

It’s in this context that a group from Seville have set up a new association to defend the colourful but highly controversial past-time.   

The group - named Ignacio Sánchez Mejías after one of Spain’s most famous bullfighters – is fighting to defend the tradition from what they call the “aggressive and defamatory” attacks of the country’s growing anti-bullfighting lobby.   

Members of the platform say bullfighting needs greater legal protection, and want the activity included on Spain’s intangible heritage list, a list created at the request of Unesco, which asks countries to identify their most prized traditions, which may be then be granted special heritage protection.

In fact, the platform wants to go a step further and see bullfighting included on Unesco’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The man behind the initiative, Seville-based law professor Juan Antonio Carrillo Donaire, says fans must lead the way as they are the only party without an “economic interest” in the issue, Spanish radio station COPE reports.

Story continues below…

But Carrillo and the fellow members of his campaign may find the going tough.

While Spaniards have turned away from bullfighting in recent years, France’s culture ministry also recently bowed to pressure and struck La Corrida from its list of “intangible heritage”, after having first included it on the list in 2011.

Under Unesco critera, intangible heritage refers to cultural processes that “provide living communities with a sense of continuity in relation to previous generations and are of crucial importance to identity." 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available