Two other bits that may interest only me: First, the MNAC, the rather grandiosely named National Museum of Art of Catalonia, is free to get in all weekend, Friday through Sunday. It's that big old Palau Nacional building on Montjuic going up from Plaza España. There is a fascinating Romanesque section, mostly frescos lifted off Pyrenean church walls in the early 1900s, which I have seen several times and which I always like to go back to. The Gothic section is pretty good, too, perhaps a little overwhelming in quantity, but there is some nice stuff in there. It seems that they have stuck part of the Thyssen collection that used to be up in Pedralbes in there, too, and there is a collection of El Grecos (he was very prolific; many cities in Spain have at least several El Grecos), a bunch of Baroque stuff (I'd classify El Greco with the Mannerists), and some more modern Catalan stuff that is often very good. I've often thought that some of the Catalan Art Nouveau guys, like Casas and Rusinyol and the Llimonas and Nonell and company, was underrated.
Second, everybody seems to be talking about the performance that the woman who is the leader of the victims of the March 11 bombings' association put on before the Parliamentary commission. I was frankly appalled; she waved the bloody shirt and complained that the government wasn't doing enough for the victims' families and so on. She basically tried to blame the Aznar government, and also the Socialist government that succeeded it, for the loss she suffered, which is not fair. Blame Al Qaeda, not Aznar or Bush.
Look, I'm sorry, but I thought the government had been generous to the families of the dead and injured. I'm also terribly sorry this woman's son was killed, along with all the rest of the people. Remember, this is the blog that ran the biographies of the victims in memoriam. That was about all I could do. But as far as justice goes, well, the people responsible for the bombing have either been arrested and jailed, and they will be tried, certainly convicted--no question these guys are guilty--and sentenced to the maximum penalty, an effective 30-year jail term, or they blew themselves up in that apartment house in Leganés, or they're on the run under an international arrest warrant.
There are still several loose ties of the investigation, including exactly how the connection between the Spanish low-lifes who supplied the explosives and these Al Qaeda dudes came about and whether ETA connections played a hand or not. That's why the investigation is continuing, you see. The attacks were only nine months ago. Sometimes it takes longer than that to wind up a case--look at the Martin Luther King case, for example. We know James Earl Ray had accomplices but we still can't prove who they were. And, no, they weren't the FBI or KKK or the Memphis cops, they were a St. Louis gang of small-time rednecks which included at least one of Ray's scumball brothers. (JFK--Oswald did it alone.)
I'd also like to know more about the connections between these Al Qaeda guys and the ones who did the Casablanca bombings, and I'd like to know if and how these guys are connected with radical Algerian groups. One thing we do know for sure, though, is that the planning for the March 11 attentats began long before Spain sent any troops to either Iraq or Afghanistan. You can't blame Aznar's decision to send Spanish troops into Iraq for the murder of those people in Madrid. You have to blame the real murderers, the guys who placed the bombs on the train and the guys who helped them do it and the guys who are their bosses.