Monday, June 18, 2007

The Siege Of Cibeles

One consequence of Real Madrid winning the Liga yesterday is that their players have to go and party with regional president Esperanza Aguirre. Serves them right, I have no sympathy. Meanwhile, a consequence of Real Madrid not winning much silverware in recent seasons has been that those in charge of looking after the historic monuments of the city have not had to worry about whether they will have to reconstruct the Cibeles statue and fountain after the fans have finished celebrating. Now I like the game, or at least I did untill this season, but I have never seen the trashing of the city's historical heritage as being a suitable response to my team winning a trophy. Until the city authorities clamped down a few years ago, risking the wrath of Raul, it was quite normal for the entire Madrid squad to clamber all over poor Cibeles as part of the celebrations. The need for a bit more respect was illustrated when some over enthusiastic fans thought it would be a great laugh to emulate their heroes and trample on Cibeles. They broke an arm off the statue, and then quickly drove off and dumped the broken piece miles away. I think the city now has a complete mould of the statue so that any part of it can be easily repaired in future cases. It's bad enough that the whole piece has been transformed by Madrid's ever enlightened urban planners into a glorified traffic island, without the football team turning up there as well.

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