Saturday, August 13

Tudela marks a ‘Welcome, Mrs. Letizia’ for the queen: “They have fixed in a few days what has not been done in years”

Punctual to her appointment, Queen Letizia arrived this Friday at 11:30 in the morning at the doors of the Moncayo cinema, in Tudela, the second largest town in Navarra, where she has been received by a large group of people among neighbors, organization of the film festival attended by representatives of the different local institutions. He has done it, as usual, in his official car and after having traveled a route meticulously prepared by the Town Hall of the town, which in the days prior to the visit has been in charge of decorating the streets around the cinema to leave them “what prettiest possible “.

“Just as when you receive someone at your house, you pick up and clean everything, we wanted the city to be as beautiful as possible for your visit,” says the town planning councilor. In total, the Consistory has invested around 5,000 euros in repairing street furniture and damage to the sidewalks, planting some trees and repainting parking spaces so that everything was impeccable when Letizia arrived. “They have fixed and cleaned in a few days what has not been done in years,” a local resident told this newspaper.

In a situation similar to that experienced by the residents of Villar del Río in the film ‘Welcome Mr. Marshall’, by Luis García Berlanga, a director who is precisely honored at the Ópera prima festival attended by the queen, the inhabitants of Tudela they received the news a week ago that Letizia would come to their city this Friday. With no time to lose, the City Council decided to invest “all available resources and the little money that remains at this point in the year” to leave the city “as best as possible.” and in just three days the Town Hall has managed to change the image of the cinema environment.

To achieve this, the urban planning department has invested just over 5,000 euros that have been used to, in record time, repair street furniture in poor condition, repaint worn signs and replant some trees. Specifically, the construction brigade has changed the benches and wastebaskets on the cinema street, has repaired broken pieces and joints on the sidewalks, repainted railings, signs and other street furniture, in addition to improving access to the cinema entrance. Signs in poor condition have also been changed and the parking spaces in the adjacent streets have been repainted, which during these days prior to the queen’s visit have been unused. Finally, the tree pits in the area have been renovated, 6 new trees and three shrubs have been planted and the opposite sidewalk has been cleaned up by repairing the flowerbeds, in which the old land has been replaced with grass. also installing a new automatic irrigation system.

For its part, the cleaning contract has been in charge of improving the appearance of the sidewalk of the cinema and those of the surroundings in recent days by flushing and sweeping.

“These are works that we are doing throughout the city but that on the occasion of the visit of the queen and the honored families we have seen the opportunity to make the cinema environment beautiful,” says Zeus Pérez, Tudela town planning councilor to elDiario. it is. Some of the residents of the city with whom this newspaper has contacted do not see it that way, who point out that only the surroundings of the cinema have been improved, while the rest of the town “remains the same as before.”

“They have only fixed and cleaned the areas through which the queen passes,” says a neighbor in the area. Another, the owner of a city bar, laments that “these things are only done when the queen comes.” “It would be nice if the furniture was changed from time to time,” he adds.

The reason for the queen’s visit is the celebration of the 21st edition of the Tudela Opera Prima Festival, a contest in which a tribute has been made to the filmmakers Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis García Berlanga and Fernando Fernán Gómez and in which Doña Letizia has presented awards to the families of the honorees: Jorge García Berlanga (Berlanga’s grandson), María Bardem (Juan Antonio Bardem’s daughter) and Fernando Fernán-Gómez (Fernán-Gómez’s son). The queen has also attended the viewing of the film ‘That happy couple’, a feature film by Luis García Berlanga and Juan Antonio Bardem and starring Fernando Fernán Gómez.

It is the first time that such a renowned personality outside the film industry has attended this festival, explains Julio Zamarico, president of the Muskaria club, one of the organizers of the audiovisual contest. The initiative to invite the queen came from the director of the festival, Luis Alegre, who this week confessed that he has been inviting her for years “because she is an unleashed cinephile and has a great sensitivity to the world of cinema and culture.” Alegra, “who knows the queen personally from her time as a journalist”, invited her again this year, after the previous one was canceled due to the pandemic, “and this time she accepted.”

In the twenty previous editions, the City Council of Tudela had never decorated the city in this way, something that the Consistory itself recognizes. “We had already planned to carry out renovation work in the Plaza Padre Lasa – close to the Moncayo cinema – but it is true that it has anticipated what had been foreseen by the visit of the queen,” says the town planning councilor. “Now they have left everything very clean and very beautiful, but that they do it more often,” claims another neighbor.