The three leftist political parties who made up the last Generalitat coalition government, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Iniciativa per a Catalunya Verds (ICV), have decided to coordinate their campaigns for this month's municipal elections (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Three of the leading figures from each party (Miquel Iceta for PSC, Joan Puigcercós and Joan Herrera, the respective leaders of ERC and ICV), lunched yesterday, 36 hours before the official start of the campaign for the May 22nd vote with the aim of bringing together their respective programmes as a way to do more damage to Convergència i Unió (CiU) at the polls. The council elections are proving to be a challenge for these three parties equal to or even greater than the recent parliamentary elections, when they saw their collective number of seats dramatically hit with the result that CiU came into power; ex-president José Montilla has said that with these elections, the PSC is gambling with its future as a political entity. Positive municipal results would provide a cushion for both PSC and ICV, while for ERC they would be a determinant for the internal renewal that the party is pending regarding who will lead it and in what direction it should go.
The organisers of this year's Primavera Sound are considering the installation of a giant screen to show the Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United (read article in Catalan here, Avui). With its line-up, sponsors and promoters all organised months in advance of UEFA deciding the date and venue of the football final, the festival's organisers have been aware over the past few weeks that the Saturday night segment of their event (with acts including PJ Harvey, Fleet Foxes and Mercury Rev) could well clash with Barça playing in its third Champions League final in four years, and so it has proved to be. "It's a problem," admitted co-director Albert Guijarro yesterday. "We've been put a bit on the back foot and we don't know what to do." If the decision is taken to install a screen, then it will be necessary to enter into negotiations with UEFA. "With the last final that Barça played, Apolo wanted to install a screen, and a few hours after announcing the move, they got a letter from UEFA," said Guijarro. The Catalan band Manel, recognised fans of Barça, are also trying to decide what to do about their sold-out concert for that evening scheduled to be played at the Auditori in Girona. "When we did the concert schedule, we took into account the Copa del Rey, but not the Champions," said a spokesperson for the group.
A private art collection belonging to a Barcelona family could contain a work by Leonardo da Vinci (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). It was four years ago that the family concerned, which is choosing to remain anonymous, began to suspect that the art-work, which is a family heirloom, could be the creation of the Italian painter of whom only 20 paintings are known, none of which are in Spanish collections. Art, history and restoration experts have studied the piece and all reached the same conclusion: that it is an Italian work from the early 16th century, close to the school of Leonardo. There is a similar case being investigated at the Museo Lázaro Galdiano in Madrid of a work entitled El Salvador adolescente that is described as "Leonardo-esque", but attributed to one of his disciples, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio. Despite the doubts surrounding the authorship of this work, however, the British National Gallery has selected it to take part in an exhibition entitled 'Leonardo da Vinci: Painter in the Milan Court'. It's a similar situation with the possible Barcelona Leonardo—the work is a small oil painting on copper measuring 15 by 12.5 centimetres, showing the reading Mary Magdalene (Magdalene Leggente), a popular theme for this saint. The best-known example of such works is the one by Correggio, dating from 1522, which disappeared during the Second World War. If the Barcelona painting proves to be an authentic Leonardo da Vinci work of Mary Magdalene, it would be earlier than the Correggio, and thus the first of the series.