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Banner that lost Catalan leader his power becomes museum exhibit

Torra and the banner that was once on the Catalan government building.
Torra and the banner that was once on the Catalan government building. / EFE
  • Quim Torra handed over to curators the controversial sign that calls for those jailed over 2017 illegal independence vote to be freed

The former president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, who was banned from public office earlier this year for refusing to take down a politically biased banner from a regional government building during a general election campaign, has handed in the offending sign for display at a publicly funded museum.

The Museu d'Història de Catalunya (Museum of Catalan History) has taken possession of the sign which carries the phrase, in Catalan and English, 'Free the political prisoners and exiles', as well as a yellow ribbon. The ribbon is the widely used symbol of resistance in the Catalan nationalist movement to the arrest and trial of those politicians and public leaders who conspired in the illegal independence referendum of October 2017.

The local history museum in Barcelona, which is part funded by the regional government, will put the infamous banner at the centre of a new exhibition on the independence movement. Curators also plan to display ballot boxes from the banned vote.

"I wanted to make it very clear that the Catalan government supported what our people had decided," said Torra over the banner.

The museum has said that it is its job to preserve "the collective memory" of Catalan society.