Bullfighting returns to the Balearics

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By Daniel Bellamy  with Reuters
Bullfighting returns to the Balearics

Bullfighting has returned to the Balearic island of Mallorca after a partial ban was overturned by Spain's top court.

The Balearic Colosseum, where the fight took place in the capital Palma on Friday evening, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Four well-known matadors took to the ring after 10pm. Hours earlier, dozens of people had demonstrated against the fights.

One fan who attended the fights on Friday said the protests had been counter-productive.

"I think that the people who have fought to end bullfighting in the Balearics have managed to achieve the opposite, they have generated much more interest," the man said, without giving his name.

Spain's constitution protects bullfighting as a part of the "national heritage."

But a long running protest movement in Spain regards the tradition as barbaric which has no place in modern society.

Bullfighting dates back to Roman times and whilst hundreds of fights are held every year the numbers are clearly falling.

In Portugal, fights are still held but the bulls aren't killed. Instead, they are stunned with an electric gun and then wrestled to the ground.