Spain Debates Enshrining Ancient Tradition of Bullfighting as Culture


MADRID (AP).- Ernest Hemingway was fascinated by bullfighting and artist Goya depicted it in some of his most famous paintings. Now Spain’s leading opposition party wants to enshrine it as part of the nation’s cultural heritage — and stop efforts to ban the bloody pastime. Supporters who say bullfighting is a form of art crucial to Spanish national identity say the move would also overturn the high-profile bullfighting ban enacted last month in the populous northeastern Catalonia region, and strike down a 1991 ban in Spain’s Canary Islands. Other parts of Spain would be prevented from enacting regional bans so Spaniards and tourists would have the freedom of choice to attend bullfights, said lawmaker Juan Manuel Albendea, the spokesman for the longshot bill being pushed forward by the conservative Popular Party. “What if, say, Madrid banned the cinema?” asked Albendea. “It would be ridiculous.” The proposal also