The 19,882 bullfighting celebrations held in Spain in 2017 had an economic impact of 4,500 million euros, which represents 0.36 percent of the gross domestic product, and in the case of the Community of Castilla-León reaches 1.5 percent.
These data have been presented at the II International Congress of Bullfighting held in Murcia by the technical secretary of the National Association of Bullfighting Organizers (ANOET), Mar Gutiérrez, who clarified that, of the initial figure, 18,357 correspond to festivities popular (92.30 percent) and the rest -7.70 percent- to regulated shows.
The representative of the big businessmen gave special importance to the advance of the popular celebrations, which have increased considerably in recent years, while cushioning the fall of bullfights, heifers and rejoneo shows and tend to stabilize.
Currently, the Valencian Community occupies the first place for the number of street celebrations, with a total of 9,759; it is followed by Castilla-León, with 2,345; third, Navarra, with 1,648; followed by Castilla-La Mancha, with 1,605; Aragón, with 1.215; Extremadura, with 658 and Andalusia, with 655, among others.
The morning of the second day of the bullfighting congress also had a conference of the lawyer from Seville Joaquín Moeckel, legal representative of the company of the Maestranza and several figures of bullfighting and specialist in bullfighting, who spoke on 'current legal controversies of the party' .
He criticized what he describes as "the excessive normativization" of the bullfighting festival, which "clashes with the freedom of enterprise advocated by the European Union." "Above the law, he insisted, there is art."
He asked for the bulls the same 'self-regulation' enjoyed by the world of football, and said that "culture can not be legally eradicated," in response to those who seek the convening of a referendum on bullfighting.
He encouraged the congressmen to show their pride in being amateurs because "the defense of the party does not have to be justified", adding that the best protection "goes through the quality of the show".
"Bullfighting is the cradle of freedom," he finished.
The day was closed by a round table on cultural diversity and heritage that included the participation of experts from Mexico, Colombia and Spain.
Before, a recognized French amateur, André Viard, president of the National Observatory of Bullfighting Cultures of the neighboring country, spoke about the 'Taurine Rites, a consubstantial culture of the human epic'.
"Bullfighting is a World Heritage site whose origin is located in East Africa, 1.8 million years ago, when homo erectus stopped being a scavenger to become a hunter," explained Viard.
"From the Neolithic 'revolution' that took place eight millennia before Christ," he continued, "hunting acquired a sacrificial dimension throughout the Mediterranean environment, and gave rise to many bullfighting games included in the ritual of various religions."
"Bullfighting was again a profane activity after the fall of the Roman Empire and its invasion by the Franks and the Visigoths. Thus, for thirteen centuries it evolved in the hunting and warrior environment, until, from 1720, the date on which the crutch appears, progressively gave birth to the modern bullfight, which emerges as the profane manifestation inherited from some immemorial sacrificial cults, enriched since the Enlightenment by undeniable ethical and aesthetic values, and bearer of an evident artistic dimension, "he concluded.