June 16, 2019
Latest News
Entertainment

A new lease of life beckons for Morocco's last remaining bullring

Tangier, Morocco, Mar 14 (efe-epa).- One of Africa's only two remaining bullrings, which stands with its peeling facade in the Moroccan city of Tangiers and serves as a reminder of the Arab country's shared heritage with southwestern Europe, is set to undergo a redevelopment after decades of dereliction, authorities told EFE Thursday.

The bullring, which opened in August 1950, saw many a famed bullfighter take to its arena, including Luis Miguel "Dominguín," Miguel Báez Spínola known as "El Litri," or "El Cordobés" Manuel Benítez.

The deputy mayor of Tangier, Driss Riffi Temsamani, told EFE the town hall would like to see the now derelict building turned into a multipurpose space and has launched a tender for architecture students at Valencia's Polytechnic University to "explore possible architectural and urban development plans including its surroundings" with a prize of between 500 and 2,000 euros ($226 - $5,650).

The arena was built at the height of nationalist fervor during Gen. Francisco Franco's military dictatorship in Spain (1939-1975), during the Spanish protectorate of Morocco which included a northern strip on the Mediterranean and a southern segment near Cape Juby east of the Canary Islands.

However, the ring lasted as a hub of traditional Spanish spectacles for barely 6 years because, as historian Bernabé López García told EFE, the bullfighters and bulls had to be brought from mainland Spain incurring great costs.

By 1956, the year Morocco proclaimed its independence, the arena closed, although it briefly re-opened in 1970 with "El Cordobés" headlining and marking its final "corrida" (bullfight).

The ring has since been abandoned.

Even though locals still refer to the place as the bullring, most of them have never seen it in use.

It is viewed as a versatile space that has been used for varied activities such as trade fairs, boxing fights and concerts.

During the 1990s it was also used as a temporary detention center to contain the large influx of migrants from further south in Africa traveling to Europe.

What was designed to provide a stage for matadors and bulls has now become the home of a sprawling fig tree, a scrawny olive tree and rows of fresh laundry drying in the sun, which belong to one of four families squatting in the former bullring.

The squatters have been living in the arena for several years and claim to be descendants of Ahmed Yasini, the last usher to have worked at the ring, his son, Hasan Yasini, told EFE.

Whether this is true or not, Yasini holds the key to the only door that opens into the round plaza, as well as a series of documents issued by Spanish authorities, at the time the bullring was active, in his father's name.

Yasini was born, grew up and now lives with his wife and two young children on the ground floor of the building with three relatives.

A crumbling stage in the middle of the sandpit serves as a washing line upon which clean clothes are draped onto the oxidized structure.

The family has running water and electricity but not much else reminds of the building's former past.

No posters announcing the bullfights, no memorabilia, little by little visitors have stripped the building of any remnants of its history.

Yasini contacted the Spanish Consulate in Tangier several months ago in a bid to get some sort of recognition for his family or, even better, a reward for having kept the building going over the years.

He never got a reply.

The Moroccan government declared the bullring a protected national monument in 2016.

The other African bullring is located in Melilla, one of two Spanish enclaves on the continent's northern coast.

By Javier Otazu

News history
Picasso show in China unravels the genius behind the artist

By Jesús Centeno

A fragile Notre Dame Cathedral holds first Mass since devastating fire

Paris, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Two months after being devastated by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris held its first Mass this Saturday in conditions still...

EuroPride goes out with a bang at Vienna parade

The EuroPride parade, a rally against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people hosted in a different European city each...

Notre Dame of Paris to hold first mass since devastating fire in April

By Catalina Guerrero

Italian film, opera director Franco Zeffirelli dies aged 96

The day a US museum canceled an exhibit due to political pressure

By Alfonso Fernandez

Giant fresco unveiled at Eiffel Tower in support of SOS Mediterranean

Madrid Desk, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- A huge fresco of a line of clasped hands has been unveiled on Friday beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris in support of the...

New economics museum in Paris treats viewers to interactive, sensory show

By Claudia Zapater

Lim, Leon step down as French luxury fashion house Kenzo's creative directors

Paris, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- American designers Carole Lim and Humberto Leon are stepping down as creative directors of Kenzo Maison after eight years at the...

Facebook's new cryptocurrency gets new backers

By AnnaMaria Andriotis, Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman

Christie's auction features treasures of Indian royalty

Nora Quintanilla

Art Basel launches in a bubble oblivious to crises, trade wars

By Antonio Broto

Facebook worries emails could show CEO knew of questionable privacy practices

By John D. McKinnon, Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman and Jeff Horwitz

The Hague, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- A Syrian refugee who arrived in the Netherlands in 2016 has plastered the walls, furniture and ceiling of his small room with...

Montevideo, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- Anime and manga aficionados gathered once again this year in Uruguay's capital for J-pop karaoke and cosplay contests...

Mexican gov't accuses fashion label Carolina Herrera of plagiarism

Madrid, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- A new collection by luxury fashion label Carolina Herrera inspired by different Latin American holidays has sparked a complaint...

'Tolkien,' a glimpse into the writer's imagination

By Paula Baena Velasco

Activists call for boycott of Thai zoo over alleged animal mistreatment

Bangkok, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Wednesday called for a boycott of a zoo in Thailand after a video...

Festival of historical reconstruction seeks to slow hectic Moscow life

Moscow, Jun 11 (efe-epa).- History has been brought to life at a reconstruction festival in Moscow which has transformed the bustling Russian capital with...

Bartolomé Bermejo: Renaissance masterpieces exhibited in UK for first time

By Brenda Pérez Zapater

Greek haute cuisine, straddling modernity and tradition

By Ana Mora Segura

Halal surfing: Web browser targets 1.8 billion Muslim followers

By Noel Caballero

Ubisoft shows off "Watch Dogs: Legion" at E3 preview

By David Villafranca.

Samuel L. Jackson combines humor and shooting in new installment of ‘Shaft’

By Helen Cook

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.