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Argument: Bullfighting is a cultural art form, not a sport

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Supporting quotations

Robert Elms. "End bullfighting and you give in to the neutering forces of accepted taste." The Independent. July 31st, 2010: "Much of the Aglo antipathy to the corrida comes from the misconception that it is a sport, and a deeply unfair one at that. But this unique event, which is reviewed in the culture section of Spanish newspapers alongside opera, cannot be considered a sport; the end is pre-ordained, the pattern deeply repetitive and the element of competition almost entirely absent."

Paco March, a journalist on La Vanguardia, the biggest newspaper in Catalonia, says that bullfighting is an art form, more similar to the opera than a sporting event: “All the activists see is the blood — they don’t see the art.”[1]

R. L. DUFFUS. "Hemingway Now Writes of Bull-Fighting as an Art." The New York Times. September 25th, 1932: "But bull-fighting, though as Mr. Hemingway says, 'a decadent art in every way,' is an art, indeed, 'if it were permanent it could be one of the major arts.' It does not seem absurd to Mr. Hemingway to compare it with sculpture and painting, or to set Joselito and Belmonte side by side with Velasquez and Goya, Cervantes and Lope de Vega, Shakespeare and Marlow. Even such refined elements as the line of the matador's body at the critical instant or the 'composition' of bull and man enter into the intelligent 'aficionado's' enjoyment. Bull-fighting is thus presented as an art heightened by the presence of death and, if the spectator can project himself into the matador's place, in the terror of death. For even the best matadors have their moments of fear--even their days and seasons of fear."

Esperanza Aguirre, head of the conservative regional government in Madrid, announced in March of 2010 that the bullfight was to be included on the list of items of "special cultural value" that were protected by law. "It is an art-form that deserves to be protected and that has been part of Mediterranean and Spanish culture since time immemorial. Goya, Picasso, García Lorca and, from abroad, Hemingway and Orson Welles have all dealt with bullfighting as an art form."[2]

José Miguel Arroyo (Joselito). "Interpreting the bullfighter's art with feeling." : "Besides, bulls are part of Spain’s culture and that of other countries in Europe and America as painters, musicians, poets, writers, sculptors and other national and international artists have enriched their works by taking bullfighting as a model and source of inspiration. And they are surely not singing the praises of the canons or rules; they go a bit beyond that. That "bit beyond" is no more or less than the aesthetics, heartbeat, musicality, colour and also - let’s not forget - a touch of tragedy. But, above all, it’s the art and the magic that delight people. So, I would respectfully request that when bullfighting fans go to see a bullfight, they please try to enjoy themselves and feel what is going on because what happens there can sometimes be wonderful and unforgettable."

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