Barcelona has banned certain artistic badges from being sold in two city museums and art galleries under its control.
The badges depict the less-attractive side of the city, not Sagrada Familia or Tibidabo or the Aquarium all of which the town hall approves of. No, these badges depict prostitution, illegal street sales, police beating, flower-sales (which we like!) and inevitably… bagsnatching.
“This is not the image that the city wishes to project,” said a spokesman.
No, I’m very sure it’s not!
The city vigorously bans the visual representations but the activities themselves continue.
There’s a logic there somewhere, but we’re not sure what it is. Perhaps it’s that the badges are transportable and can be worn around the world.
The activities happen every evening on Las Ramblas, Nou de la Rambla, Carrer Hospital, Ronda Sant Antoni and Carrer Ample. Some amongst you may be shocked, others less so.
But, by then the tourist dollars have been spent on hotels and the feet are already planted in the city for a week.
It reminds us of the local goverments decision to allow robbery victims to officially report their victimhood in their hotels, not because it made it easier for the visitors but because the local authorities didn’t want the victims to meet other victims in the queue in the police station, swap notes and realise how much of a problem Barcelona had.
If you want to buy a few badges – they’re only simple metal badges with provocative images, folks – send an email to chapateao/at/gmail.com and/or have a look at their site here: http://chapateao.blogspot.com.
As reported in today’s Guardian from the UK (read: more embarrassment!), the designers have said: “Don’t let them silence us. Defend both freedom of expression and criticism with a sense of humour.”
I’m placing an order now!
(This blogpost was written on a phone, so apologies in advance for anything out of position, etc.)