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Friday, 27 February 2009

UNIVERSITY OF LAUGH

So Henderson reassured me that Ian Gibson would have to wait a while before he met me. All I learnt from the local rag about his lecture was the well known fact that 'who knows what Spain would have, could have, should have been like if they hadn't exiled or shot all the intelligent people. The country was left to inbreed for around forty years and here they continue to do so. Maybe that is why it is so difficult to have a decent conversation and when the likes of Gibson turn up to sleepy towns like this one the intelligent folk have to sit on the floor to catch up with it all.

As a consolation I took myself and Henderson to one of my favourite places, the museum which is always deserted and has a wonderful air outside which recommends itself in the octagonal courtyard where you can sit and breath in a vibe lacking elsewhere. This is I believe part of the old university. However, inside the museum there is a dreadful dank room, part of an old palace, where King Ramiro the second is said to have beheaded a dozen noblemen or ''rebellious gentlemen' as the guide puts it. It is a room devoid of feeling and bereft of vibrations which is surprising considering the mess he must have made. Upstairs is the same in the Throne Room although it would be a great place to have an exhibition or a party. The story goes that the king had sent a herald to his former master asking for advice. When the herald asked the master he was cutting off the heads of cabbages and told the herald to tell the king what he had seen. This inspired the king to cut off the heads and place them in a circle and hang the last head from the bell pull. This is still known as The Bell of Huesca and people say it is still an expression used today to describe events on such a scale.

At the moment there is an exhibition on The Lincoln Brigade in Aragon during the Civil war with lots of photos especially of Belchite a town south of there which has been preserved as a reminder of the war. It is a tiny exhibition and I wondered if the schools here had taken the school kids around it and maybe do a project. I doubt it. It's easy for the Spanish to hate the North Americans but many of them travelled to Spain to fight the Fascists. There is often an attempt to portray this war as the first where black and white soldiers fought together and the photos are important as we don't often get to see how many black people gave and still give their lives during wars started by white men.

After this exhibition we went to see the rest of the museum where there are a few Goyas and I always fantasise about robbing them and how I will or would do this. I might wait till I am over seventy with signs of dementia. Then again maybe a robbery would be better attempted in The Netherlands where the prisons are better. There is something or rather there is always something amusing in the guides translated into English. Mr. Valentin Carderera 'illustrious artist and historian from Huesca' was 'decisive' in the foundation of the museum thanks to 'an important and disinterested donation'.

Inspired by all this we shall see where tomorrow takes us.


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