Mandarin, frivolous and stingy: the Spanish aristocracy portrayed by a Marquis

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The aristocracy is no longer what it was. “It is a cult in extinction, it does not make up the economic, political or cultural world, it is a skeptic who is only interested in folklore”, says Onigo Ramírez de Haro (Zarauz, 67) intentionally. XX Marquess of Kazaza in Africa and member of the long-lived House of Bornos. Aeronautical engineer, diplomat, linguist, playwright and UNESCO activist in Paris, just published bad blood (Edison’s Bee), a crude and ironic book in which he settles scores with his wealth in general and his family in particular. of a provocative nature (he titled one of his plays i fuck on god), the curiosity is now fueled by his conflicts with his brother Fernando, the current Count of Bornos, and his wife, Esperanza Aguirre, former president of the Madrid Community and controversial political figure. In the book he details his complaint against the couple for fraudulent appropriation goya Family.

The book tells in an intertwined manner the story of some of the members of Casa Bornos at different times in the history of Spain, on a blurred line that separates reality from fiction: the War of Independence, the Civil War or Catholicism. Emperor, when King Ferdinand named Captain General Francisco Ramírez, named Lord of Bornos, Lord of Bornos. gunner, Granada War Hero. The other founder of the dynasty was Beatriz Galindo, the military man’s second wife. Latin, Which gives its name to a neighborhood of Madrid. half a century of history that leads to a painting hanging in the family’s palace on Calle Jesus del Valle in Malasana, another Madrid neighborhood where Aguirre lives, which the author says was despised by his relatives because he Came from aristocracy of minor descent. , The author says, “The high aristocracy I come from despises the lower elite, is patriarchal with the people and hates the new rich.”

There, in the old palace, across the thick weather, lying on the chimney, following the author’s story, the painting which was not known as a Goya, But in the end it was, as confirmed by the Prado Museum: “My brother goes bankrupt and at dinner, before Aguirre tears, my wife suggests that he sell the painting. According to Sotheby’s, when authorship is searched, it rises from 10,000 euros to eight million. According to Ramírez de Haro, the canvas was sold for about five million and tycoon Villar Mir in some fraudulent way, as it was owned by all the heirs, not just his brother and, given its importance, declared it should go. A property of cultural interest.

“Curiously, then-President Aguirre gave permission for Operation Canalejas, In the center of Madrid, a million-dollar work promoted by Villar Meir himself,” says the disgruntled Marquis, who sued the couple for fraud, false documents, falsification and a tax offense. Judge Concepción Jerez filed the case. “I had a very good relationship with my brother, but he has become a thief,” says Abhijat, who also condemns judicial corruption. “The judge didn’t want to investigate anything, it was bought by Aguirre”, Adventure. “They have behaved like a mafia.” The sentence is appealed before the Provincial Court of Madrid.

Esperanza Aguirre and Fernando Ramírez de Haro in Madrid in March 2019.
Esperanza Aguirre and Fernando Ramírez de Haro in Madrid in March 2019.Victor J Blanco (GTRES)

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Beyond the recent controversies, the author gives a good overview of a group in decline. “I was born in a very closed world, which Spain had created, but also the one who created it. The elite is losing privileges and remains only a set of myths and beliefs”, he says. Lace, in his opinion, was imposed by Felipe González when, after being president of the government, he rejected a noble title for being inconsistent with the values ​​of socialism.

The truth is that the aristocracy is falling out of fashion in the contemporary world. A world with egalitarian aspirations, however, is becoming increasingly unequal, with questions about the merits of inheritance. “Every time there is talk of raising the inheritance tax, the elite are put on the defensive because they don’t want to work or contribute anything to society, just manage the dwindling wealth, on income and past glory. live,” says the author, who considers it to be an adversity. “Social peace is achieved by the distribution of wealth. We should not discuss what is collected, but how the proceeds are used. The traditional victim elite of the revolution must pursue that peace”.

Even a world where the bright flag of merit (more typical of the bourgeoisie than that of the oligarchy) flies frequently, though that merit is conspicuous by its absence. “The elite hate merit, they only care about blood. I was raised in that brainwashing, a world I tried to avoid,” says Ramirez de Haro. He speaks of his family’s “horrendous” values, suffocating bigotry and religiosity, decadence, boredom, vagrancy, loneliness. His father, he recalls in the book, was allergic to energy consumption, not because of the environment but because of the expense, and his house was always cold and preferred the dark. To eat, the eggs that the hens laid and were broken; And the oldest of those chickens. Old books accumulated over generations are lying unread, covered in dust.

It portends, looking through the lock, a frivolous life, lack of interest and any curiosity, focused on the pleasures of golf, hunting, summer holidays, idleness. and religious persecution, until reaching the sexual abuse that he says he suffered as a child at the hands of a Jesuit during a confession at school. Despite his efforts to distance himself from that genetics and that morality, the Marquis is surprised to recognize in himself the same traits that stubbornly return, and the same bad breath of his father. “In these families you are already born to be what you are, you don’t have to make up your own,” he says. And he remains what he was, who was born: a Ramirez de Haro.

What good is left of that “bad blood”? “Being a marquis with a progressive view of life, as I am, is for me to justify historical memory, but not only from the side and not only from the Civil War, we have to delve deeper into the memory. Life does not end in the present. The family, before the publication of the book, lives in a very aristocratic silence. “It is not known whether he read it in secret or ignored it, in any case this book is like a farewell to my family”, concludes the Marquis.

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