The Compromís senator, Carles Mulet, has demanded today to know what criteria are used to dedicate walls of the Senate and exhibit busts or paintings in this institution, after the presidency of the chamber has spent almost a month ignoring the request of the Valencian spokesman to withdraw the painting of the Marquis of Ensenada, Zenón de Somodevilla and Bengoechea, visible on the ground floor of the noble building of the institution, in front of some elevators used by hundreds of people daily.
“We fear that there is no criterion or report when it comes to exhibiting art: be it sculptures or paintings. It doesn’t matter if they are characters that make us ashamed as ex-ministers of Franco or genocidal like this marquis. Some of these should hide in some basement and show off more worthy jobs from the bottoms of the camera. Surely there are people who deserve more to be exposed in the palace”, Mulet declared.
In his letter to the president of the Senate, Mulet pointed out that “it is out of place and unjustified that a chamber like the Senate, which represents the sovereignty of the peoples of the Spanish State, has a picture of this person in a very visible place, material and ideological author of ‘the Great Raid’, the attempted extermination of the gypsy people that took place in our country”.
The senator recalls that, far from falling into presentism, nothing can justify or whitewash this action. “Such a person cannot have streets dedicated to his memory in our towns and cities, since he is an affront and a humiliation to his victims, much less being in such a prominent place in the General Courts,” he added. The coalition recalls that municipalities such as those of Lleida or Cádiz have already removed the streets dedicated to this genocide.
Ensenada organized a secret and synchronized operation throughout the Spanish territory on July 30, 1749, also known as the General Prison of Gypsies, which had as its objective the arrest of all the gypsies of the kingdom, separating men from women in order to achieve the extinction of the ethnic group. On the first day between 9,000 and 12,000 gypsies were arrested. Those older than seven years and women were chained and interned in arsenals where they performed forced labor. His assets were confiscated. This action ended in 1763. To deprive them of their freedom there was no other crime than being “merely gypsies”.
“The Great Raid was, therefore, an attempt to exterminate the gypsy people and the material author and promoter of this macabre initiative was Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, Marquis of Ensenada, who cannot spend another minute showing off and dominating the streets. Senate walls. July 30 is coming up, the Day of the Struggle against Anti-Gypsyism, which commemorates the victims of this anti-Gypsy round-up, so it would be a good date to show solidarity with this cause, as is done with many others”, concludes Carles Mulet.