Malaga mourns academic and politician Antonio Garrido

A file photo of Antonio Garrido Moraga, outside Malaga cathedral.
A file photo of Antonio Garrido Moraga, outside Malaga cathedral. / FRANCIS SILVA
  • The member of the Andalusian parliament, and former head of the Cervantes Institute in New York, died on Monday, aged 63

Hundreds of people from cultural, political, academic and religious circles of Malaga society paid their respects this week to Antonio Garrido Moraga, who died in hospital two months after suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was 63.

Garrido, who often contributed articles to SUR and SUR in English, was a university professor and a member of the Andalusian parliament for the PP, a prominent figure in many areas with a passion for local culture, religious brotherhoods, bullfighting, art, flamenco and politics.

He was born in 1954 and his first job as a school teacher was in Canillas de Aceituno. With a PhD in Hispanic Philology, he went on to become a Professor in Spanish Language and Literature.

He played a part in the creation of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Malaga University, and was a regular guest lecturer at European and American universities.

He moved into politics in 1995, when former mayor Celia Villalobos, called on him to join the PP list for the municipal elections.

He was given the job as the city's councillor for Culture, Education and Tourism and his work laid the foundations of the cultural splendour the city enjoys today.

Highlights of his council career include the creation of the Malaga Film Festival and the Municipal Museum and the renovation of the Picasso birth house, the Cervantes theatre and the city's libraries.

Five years later he was named by the government as director of the Cervantes Institute in New York, a post he held until 2004.

He then returned to Malaga and since then has occupied a seat on the Andalusian parliament, focusing on cultural affairs.

He was also active in the world of religious brotherhoods, holding several important positions, as a member of the brotherhood of La Esperanza, and was often called upon to deliver opening speeches.

His ability to captivate an audience with his words also led the council to give him the job of delivering the opening speech of the Malaga fair in 2003 and the city's bullfighting fair in 2017.

Garrido Moraga was the author of numerous books, essays, studies and articles in the press, especially as a literary critic.

He was also managing director of the María Zambrano Foundation in Vélez-Málaga and a member of the San Telmo Fine Arts Academy.

A funeral mass was held in Malaga on Tuesday.