El País - Spain | 09/09/2014

Censorship for fear of Spanish separatists

Spain's cultural institute - the Cervantes Institute - in Utrecht has cancelled the presentation of the Dutch translation of Albert Sánchez Piñol's historical novel "Victus, Barcelona 1714", which deals with the armed conflict between Madrid and Barcelona. The institute feared the event would be politicised in view of the National Day of Catalonia celebrated this Thursday and the planned independence referendum in November. A major misjudgement, the left-liberal daily El País comments: "The decision is wrong because this censorship is difficult to justify in the context of democratic pluralism. ... But it also displays a glaring tactlessness. If the idea was to prevent the book presentation from turning into a kind of PR event for the Catalan independence movement, they have achieved the opposite. The Cervantes Institute has given the separatists, and not just them, the best slogan possible for labelling the government as authoritarian and drawing a parallel between the novel's plot and the current situation in Catalonia." (09/09/2014)

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