Postcard from... Barcelona
It wasn’t quite “blink and you’ve missed it”, but Christopher Columbus’s 21-day spell as Spain’s largest football fan in history came to an abrupt end on Sunday morning, when a giant replica Barça shirt that had adorned a statue of Europe’s most famous explorer in downtown Barcelona for the past three weeks was removed.
The Barcelona shirt was placed on Columbus, who stands on top of a 60m-high plinth, as a publicity stunt timed to coincide with Barcelona’s match against the city’s other Primera Division side, Espanyol.
The sponsor responsible paid out roughly €100,000 for Columbus’s “support”, all of which was donated to local charities.
Although the shirt has provoked a huge amount of comment and publicity in the press and social media, its removal took place on Sunday morning in a 21-minute operation with just a few recently embarked “early-bird” passengers from visiting cruise liners as observers.
“Taking the ‘pinny’ off the ‘doll’ was not so hard; it was putting it on that was difficult – that took more than five hours, we had to measure him first,” Manuel Navarro, who oversaw both operations, told the local newspaper La Vanguardia, which dedicated three pages to the removal procedure.
Although Columbus’s unwitting conversion to a Barcelona fan drew an appreciative response from tourists, there were also criticisms of using the statue, one of Barcelona’s most emblematic, for publicity purposes.
Fans of Espanyol presumably were not so appreciative, either, of the idea.
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
QS university world rankings: Imperial College London leapfrogs Oxford to join Cambridge as best British university
Scottish independence exclusive: Millions of banknotes sent to Scotland in case Yes vote sparks run on ATMs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...