Costa Blanca South

Spain’s Culture ministry won’t allow the Dama de Elche (Alicante) to travel


ELCHE mayor Carlos Gonzalez declared that Spain’s Ministry of Culture was mistaken in vetoing the temporary return of the Dama de Elche.

Speaking at the official ceremony organised each year by the Real Orden de la Dama de Elche association, Gonzalez emphasised his “respect and appreciation” for Culture minister Miquel Iceta.

“But that refusal motivates Elche residents to fight even harder for the Iberian bust to return to its place of origin,” Gonzalez said.

It was a “grave error” on Iceta’s part not to permit the Fourth Century BC sculpture to leave Madrid’s Archaeological Museum and return to Elche in 2022 for the 125th anniversary of its discovery in La Alcudia, he maintained.

The mayor also referred to Spain’s vice-president Carmen Calvo who attended  last August’s Excelentes de la Dama gala. “She said ‘clearly and roundly’ that the temporary loan was perfectly compatible with the government’s policy of not splitting up the common heritage of the Spanish,” Gonzalez said.

Calvo, who was Culture minister between 2004 and 2009, had no difficulty in permitting the Dama’s temporary return in 2006, he pointed out.

“If she could authorise it then, what we can’t understand is why the present minister cannot do so now,” the mayor argued.


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Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at

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