Against the cadres of Parliament

Against the cadres of Parliament

One of the Chamber's paintings, The Surrender of the Princesses. / c7

Podemos, CC and NC come together to request that the images of the painter Manuel González Méndez be covered during the plenary sessions

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

new discussion in the
Canarian Parliaments raised not around policies for citizenship, but by the
paintings that decorate for years the plenary hall.
New Canary Y
Canarian Coalition They have asked that during the sessions the paintings that were commissioned from palmero be covered
Manuel Gonzalez Mendez in 1902.

Is about
two scenes of the conquest of the islands by the Castilians: the Santa Cruz Foundation, where the army can be seen nailing a wooden cross with cannons in the background; and the delivery of two girls as a symbol of surrender.

It is not the first time that the rejection of these works has been expressed. Already in 2016 the PSOE considered that it was not a priority action, although it did not refuse to study it.

Mario Cabrera (CC) and Francisco Déniz consider the images "an offense"

Holy Cross Foundation. /


“It is a dramatic moment,” they expressed at a press conference
Mario Cabrera (CC) Y
Francisco Déniz (Yes We Can Canary Islands)criticizing the
"offense" of some images with which, they say, many canaries do not feel represented either. "In our opinion, what was expressed there is based on an idyllic and obviously biased vision of what that violent act entailed."

a political issue

Both organizations affirm that
It is not an artistic question but a political onesince they start from the basis that it is the interpretation of historical events that gives them meaning.

The issue of the aborigines – conquest, slavery, surrender and acculturation – supposes for its deputies
an extremely sensitive matter. "We are disgusted to have to be watching them during all the parliamentary sessions of the highest democratic instance of the Canary Islands," they added.

The request to cover the paintingson the other hand, is a consequence of
changing, destroying or moving them is an impossible task. A report from the
Royal Academy of Fine Arts San Miguel Arcángel states that they are
"indissoluble" part of the regional Parliament and, therefore, this represents the best 'alternative' for Members.

artistic value

On its website, the Chamber collects the following text on the artistic value of the works, signed by
Alejandra Villarmea Lopezcollaborator of the Academy: «The two large canvases that decorate the front of the presidency in the Plenary Hall of the Parliament of the Canary Islands were commissioned as part of the project to adapt the building as the headquarters of the
Canary Islands Provincial Council.

The one proposed by the architect of the building,
Manuel de Oraáas a show room, should be equipped with the
token weight necessary to act as a meeting space for the members of the Chamber, compensating in some way for the decoration of the vault, in which the musical allusions were maintained.

A report from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts states that they are an "inseparable" part of the Chamber

With a historicist theme, these works have been described by the historian
Alberto Darias Prince What
the best examples of history painting in the Canary Islandsbecause despite the difficulty that the verticality of the space, managed to overcome the manifestations of other painters.

This theme is inserted within the construction movements of national cultural identities, in a context in which the different nation states were being defined in the 19th century.

The perspective of the bucolic twinning between Castilians and Aborigines is what is breathed in the iconography of González Méndez who, in addition, took special care in his choice because it was a work for an inter-island institution in one of the most delicate moments of the island dispute. For this reason, he dedicated a canvas to Tenerife, and another canvas to Gran Canaria.

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