Ciutadella – Historical Spanish Since 1965

Tom (who is these days blogging less and twittering more) encountered this proclamation on entering Ciudadela de Menorca, and suggests correctly that it refers to the publication in the Boletín Oficial del Estado of a fascist decree, promoted by education minister Manuel Lora Tamayo and signed off by Franco on Christmas Eve 1964, protecting the town’s conjunto histórico-artístico from local patriots developers, who had been building furiously since mass tourism in the Balearics kicked off a decade earlier.

The citadel figured in the franquista imagination for one of the Civil War’s more curious events, the (non-)Battle of Minorca in early February 1939, when British diplomacy facilitated a rapid Republican surrender, thereby averting some additional bloodshed, bombardment of the historic quarter, and the establishment of an Italian airbase on the island. There is obviously no mention of this quite important event in the decree, and I doubt any memorial to it exists in the town itself. An accurate and acceptable text would be quite difficult to draft, but the translation would probably give joy to many. One for the Foreign Office?

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  1. Will blog this weekend. Got a few things to write about: Houellebecq, Air Nigeria, the Olympics… all really current, up to the minute stuff.

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