Bullfighting's last day in Catalonia

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Bullfighting's last day in Catalonia

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Barcelona’s massive bullring will be the last in the Catalonian capital to close its doors this Sunday.

It is the end of the bull-fighting season and that means the end for the sport for ever in Catalonia.

It will be outlawed by legislation that comes into force on the first of January, 2012.

180 thousand Catalans signed the petition asking the regional government to make bullfighting illegal.

By voting it in in June 2010, Catalonia followed in the footsteps of the Canary Islands, which outlawed the controversial tradition in 1991.

“We think Galicia will join us soon, as there is no bullfighting tradition there, and several other regions of northern Spain as well. Of course it is going to take longer in Madrid and Andalucía, but it’s a matter of time.” said Carlos Lopez Perez of the group “Libera”.

The region’s bullfighting fans have not taken this lying down. Despite organising a campaign to preserve their pastime, they feel hurt, angry and above all powerless in the face of the ban.

“This is like a dictatorship. We haven’t done anything to hurt anyone and yet they banned our 300 year old tradition. And in a place like Barcelona, where there were enough fans to fill three bullfighting arenas” said supporter Josep Burrero.

But that was then and this is now, when bullfighting no longer attracts big crowds. This bullring is now a shopping centre.

Rosa Gil’s husband was the last bullfighter to die at the Monumental, in 1974. She says it is like mourning twice over. “The old traditions are dying no matter how hard you try to resurrect them.”, she says.

In Barcelona, they are pulling down the posters advertising bullfighting for the last time.