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Spain's raging debate over bullfighting

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Spain's raging debate over bullfighting


Deep rooted in Spain but also practised in Portugal, parts of France and Latin America, bullfighting’s origins can be traced back as far as the 8th century.

More recently, Spanish attendances have waned, arguably more popular among the older generation.

Supporters, however, insist it is about art, culture, and tradition.

‘‘You have to give importance to the fact that a man can confront a bull and create art. That is the meaning of the spectacle,’‘ Spanish bullfighter Jose Calvo said.

The blood sport’s ban in Catalonia means bullfighting schools in the region now face almost certain closure.

One teacher understands peoples sensibilities, but argues the arena remains one of the few places in society where death is not hidden.

‘‘People are being removed from an unquestionable truth, which is death,” said Fernando Gracia. “And that is something that is always with us. It seems that people always want to hide death. That’s just silly.’‘

For opponents, the ban in Catalonia will be welcomed, regarding the practice as cruel.

Typically lasting about 20 minutes, the bull is stabbed repeatedly before a fatal blow is administered by sword between its shoulder blades.

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