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Morante de la Puebla at a previous Goyesca. SUR
Traditional Goyesca bullfighting festival in Ronda postponed due to safety fears
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Traditional Goyesca bullfighting festival in Ronda postponed due to safety fears

A technical report has warned the structure of the town's historic bullring is not fit to host large crowds of people

Antonio M. Romero / Vanessa Melgar

Malaga / Ronda

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 14:27

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Ronda will not be holding this year's Corrida Goyesca, a traditional bullfight where participants dress in typical costumes inspired by the era of Francisco Goya, considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Deficiencies in the structure of the more than 200-year-old stone bullring detected by architects during a study of the building have forced the cancellation of the festival scheduled for 7 September. The rest of the bullfighting events planned as part of the Feria de Pedro Romero in Ronda will also not go ahead as planned.

Rafael Atienza, from the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda, owner of the bullring, as well as director Ignacio Herrera, and architect Isabel Serrano, revealed the news at a press conference this Wednesday (5 June). "We regret to announce that this year it will not be possible to hold the Corrida Goyesca or the festivities that accompany it. Safety is our main concern," said Atienza after the technicians, in view of the report, expressed "doubts" about the guarantee of safety for spectators.

A bullring without a foundation

Atienza said the bullring has no foundations, which has sparked different consolidation works since the end of the 19th century, the last of which was carried out 25 years ago with the CDC architectural firm and an engineering company. Since then, the structure of the building and the building's characteristic colonnades have been under constant scrutiny. These columns, which are more than 250 years old, have been cleaned, waterproofed, treated and continuously studied.

Maintenance and repair work on the bullring has been constant. In this programme, a more complete investigation has been carried out with the most advanced means in non-destructive diagnostic techniques that are as respectful as possible with the heritage. The work was carried out by the team of architects of the bullring, an engineering firm and the department of building structures and ground engineering of the school of architecture of the University of Seville.

On 30 May, the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda was given access to the "unfinished" report and, as it does every year, the technical team was asked to give its opinion on whether it guaranteed 100% safety with a full bullring.

Atienza, in the centre, next to Herrera and Serrano.
Atienza, in the centre, next to Herrera and Serrano. Vanessa Melgar

"For the first time, taking into account that a rainy winter after several years of drought and two summers of extreme heat cannot fail to affect the monument and in view of the way the investigation was going, they expressed doubts about the guarantee of safety that we demanded," Atienza added.

In what was to be its 67th year, Francisco Rivera Ordóñez had programmed a mixed bullfight in which the bullfighter Diego Ventura and other bullfighters Morante de la Puebla, Alejandro Talavante and Daniel Luque, who was due to make his debut in this bullfight, were to take part. The bulls were to be a Fermín Bohórquez bull from Ventura and six bulls from the Santiago Domecq brand for the bullfight on foot.

The announced line-up included Diego Ventura, Morante de la Puebla, Alejandro Talavante and Daniel Luque

"This cancellation is a postponement as we hope that next year we will be able to recover the usual programme with a renovated bullring. The aim of these works is to ensure that the festivities will continue for many more years in this eighteenth-century site. As with all historical-artistic monuments, the renovations are a constant improvement that allows us to preserve the heritage and richness of this unique monument," Atienza concluded.

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