Valencia struggles to retain the legacy of the "envied and upset" Blasco Ibáñez | Culture

Valencia struggles to retain the legacy of the "envied and upset" Blasco Ibáñez | Culture

The Generalitat Valenciana does not want another loss like the one that it lived four years ago with the legacy of Miguel Hernández. 250 boxes with more than 5,000 documents were flown from Elche to the Jaén population of Quesada, the birthplace of the wife of the author of the Onion Nanas. Now Valencia tries to retain the funds of writer and politician Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, as universal as unclassifiable, and that they leave to an institution in Madrid as a threat to the Blasco Ibáñez Center for Studies, to which part of the descendants of the writer are linked.

The legacy of the author of famous works such as Blood and Sand or The four horsemen of the apocalypse, born in Valencia in 1867, consists of dozens of personal letters, photographs, handwritten notebooks, documents and abundant bibliographic collections. Gloria Llorca, granddaughter of the newspaper's founder The village, donated this part to the City Council of Valencia in 1997 and the legacy remains for years exposed for the most part in the Casa Museo, a reconstruction of the chalet that the writer had next to the Valencian beach of Malva-rosa, and that the Franco regime he let it fall to pieces.

It is not the only documentary heritage of Blasco Ibáñez, which is also distributed by the Valencian Library, the National Library or the French city of Menton, where the prolific writer went into exile in the early twenties and died in 1928.

Ángel López, secretary of the foundation, warns that the problem is the property of the legacy: a small part belongs to the private entity and around 90% of the funds was transferred by the granddaughter of Blasco to the Consistory although, he says, he later retracted. "When the 2012 agreement was signed, with Rita Barberá as mayor, we already said that it was signed as a sign of goodwill, but that when the expiration [en 2017, aunque se ha prorrogado un año más] another agreement was needed to collect the entire legacy, "he explains. The foundation also demands more activities to promote the figure of Blasco.

But there is no agreement. The foundation has asked the local government emerged in 2015 of the polls [que forman Compromís, Socialistas y Podem] to return the boxes of letters, photographs, books because they defend that Gloria Llorca retracted the donation. They ask for an arbitration or for the courts to resolve the litigation over the ownership of the legacy, "with our commitment that, even if they gave us the reason, the funds would remain in the Casa Museo if there is agreement," the spokesperson of the foundation added. Since the foundation, the disposition of a national institution based in Madrid has been discussed, although it is not the National Library.

House-Museum of the most universal of the Valencian writers Blasco Ibáñez, whose legacy can end up in the courts due to disagreements between relatives and patronage.
House-Museum of the most universal of the Valencian writers Blasco Ibáñez, whose legacy can end up in the courts due to disagreements between relatives and patronage. THE COUNTRY

The City Council has a report of the legal services that considers the legacy transferred from municipal property. "What the foundation raises is impossible," said the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, who recalled that there are more activities around the writer and his time. The talks are stalled and the Generalitat, which collaborated in 2017 in the organization of the Blasco Year – to mark the 150th anniversary of the writer's birth – has been made available to the parties. The institution chaired by Ximo Puig does not want to say goodbye to another piece of his historical memory and less than four months before the elections. Yesterday he met with the foundation to show his willingness to help without arguing that the competition and the baton has the City Council.

Uncomfortable political figure

Experts and scholars of Blasco Ibáñez recognize that the writer and politician is an uncomfortable figure for the current political parties. "Blasco moved on a terrain that no one identifies today with any bander or political option," said historian and biographer Javier Varela at the commemoration events two years ago. His anti-clerical profile, his fierce radicalism, his role as a leader of the masses have not earned him sympathy on the right, but his Spanishness-especially after his American adventure-does not make him a reference on the left either. The Generation of '98 also did not forgive him for being a successful writer, an author of best-sellers, remembers the writer Joan Francesc Mira.

Another author, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, describes Blasco as an educated, traveled and successful man. "He was not of that stupidly localist, nationalist, regionalist and limited left, but of the internationalist, European, cultured, global, solidary and generous left. And in a time of petty leanings, the greatness of political vision of people like Blasco Ibáñez bothers doubly, "adds Pérez-Reverte, thanking the editor for the translation into Spanish of the History of the French Revolution, by Jules Michelet, "a capital work to understand the revolutions in Europe".

In the opinion of the author of The adventures of Captain AlatristeBlasco's novels "are extraordinary because they create people, create environments, I only had one sin and it was successful". "He earned a lot of money and he even had a house on the Costa Azul, which made him envious, and the murky political manipulations of recent times in Valencia make it uncomfortable for current politicians," he adds.

In Valencia, many millennials they believe that Blasco Ibáñez is one of the great avenues of the capital. Like some students of César Marí, professor at the Faculty of Law of Valencia, who, outraged by the possible march of the legacy, has promoted a collection of signatures through the platform so that it stays in Valencia.


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