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Flamenco Avenue in Córdoba to be renamed to honor a dictator’s minister

Córdoba’s Flamenco Avenue has been changed to honor a minister from the time of Spanish dictator Franco. Manolo Sanlúca is not happy. Neither I am.

The sign of Córdoba’s Avenida del Flamenco has been replaced with its former name, which honored Conde de Vallellano (Fernando Suárez de Tangil, count of Vallellano), a minister in the government of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. This has greatly upset Manolo Sanlúcar, an artist with strong links to Córdoba, who proceeded to gather signatures from many other renowned artists.

I’ve often said that there is still a lingering prejudice against flamenco in Andalusia, the cradle of this art which has been famous all over the world for over a century and a half. There are people in Andalusia who don’t like flamenco, and that’s fine. There are traditions I don’t like, but I don’t oppose them. I will never join a protest against bullfighting or against religious processions, even as I don’t have any interest in those things. Yet, the fact that someone from Andalusia is against flamenco, an art form that doesn’t hurt anyone and is part of our identity, is astounding.

«We can’t allow flamenco to be humiliated in this way, even more in a city so important for flamenco as Córdoba»

Córdoba is a city which has always stood up for flamenco and which has done so many good things for this art that it would be impossible to count them all. It’s the birthplace of great cantaores such as Cayetano Muriel, Fosforito, Luis de Córdoba and El Pele. Its Concurso Nacional was the bellwether that lead the way in a new age of flamenco, and the city hosts many prestigious festivals and famed peñas flamencas. Besides, the Flamencology Chair of the University of Córdoba, directed by cantaor David Pino, is doing an outstanding job. So, what’s the point of changing the name of this avenue to honor a minister of Franco’s dictatorship? Are they just trying to be annoying? Because there are certainly plenty of other strange street names all over Córdoba.

I’m not surprised, of course, that an artist like Manolo Sanlúcar would feel greatly upset and do everything he could in order to stop such affront against an art form that is an essential part of Andalusian culture. It’s not a matter of just gathering signatures. It’s a matter of sending one hundred buses to the city and making a huge protest. We can’t allow flamenco to be humiliated in this way, even more in a city so important for flamenco as Córdoba.

 

 

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Crítico de flamenco, periodista y escritor. 40 años de investigación flamenca en El Correo de Andalucía. Autor de biografías de la Niña de los Peines, Carbonerillo, Manuel Escacena, Tomás Pavón, Fernando el de Triana, Manuel Gerena, Canario de Álora...

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