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The statue in Puerta del Sol. EFE
Controversial statue of Spain's self-exiled former king Juan Carlos appears in iconic Madrid square

Controversial statue of Spain's self-exiled former king Juan Carlos appears in iconic Madrid square

The work by Chilean artist Nicolás Miranda aimed to criticise the hunting hobbies of the former king of Spain

Melchor Sáiz-Pardo

Madrid

Friday, 28 April 2023, 12:15

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A statue of Spain’s self-exiled former king Juan Carlos holding a shotgun pointed at the famous city crest of the bear and the strawberry tree in Puerta del Sol has made a brief appearance in Madrid's most popular square with tourists. The sculpture of king emeritus, standing almost 2-metres high, was placed by the Chilean artist Nicolás Miranda without the authorisation of the Madrid City Council.

The work, made up of polyurethane and modelling clay, was entitled 'Parasitic Strategies for Survival in a Cruel World', and, according to the artist, wanted to coincide its appearance with the end of Juan Carlos' second visit to Spain since he began his self-imposed exile in the Emirates in 2020. The artwork aimed to criticise the controversial hunting hobbies of the former king.

Dead elephant

Juan Carlos came under fire in 2012 after pictures of himself posing in front of a dead elephant while on safari in Botswana in 2012 surfaced. In 2006 it was also discovered that the 85-year-old former monarch had killed Mitrofan, a four-year-old brown bear weighing 120 kilos, in Russia, which the Emeritus's hosts had allegedly drugged to make it easier to kill.

After the work's brief exhibition in the Puerta del Sol, it was taken to the cultural centre La Parcería, in Arganzuela, an exhibition by the artist starting on 4 May.

Meanwhile, the former king of Spain continues to dominate headlines as his former lover, Danish businesswoman Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, brought action against him at the High Court in London, claiming he used Spain’s spy agency to target and harass her and her children after their five-year relationship ended.

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