The funniest fallout from the Frankfurt book fair is that, at the closing ceremony, wacky independentista Carod-Rovira of ERC bragged that Catalonia had been invited to the Venice Biennial art fair, with its own pavilion, in 2009, and that he had confirmation from the mayor of Venice.
Of course he was bullshitting. The Venice Biennial does not invite anybody. Independent countries PAY (Spain's participation is subsidized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for their pavilion in the Biennial's official building. Non-independent regions or countries or pieces of land or whatever are allowed to apply to the Biennial for the privilege of setting up a pavilion in some other building; only Scotland and Wales have ever done so. Paying for it, of course, and outside the official program. The president of the Biennial said he hadn't even received an application from Catalonia, and that no decisions of the sort would be made until February 2008 anyway. Finally, get this, the mayor of Venice has nothing at all to do with the Biennial art fair.
Says author Llátzer Moix in La Vanguardia: "How is it possible that Bargalló (boss of the Ramon Llull foundation and ERC blabbermouth) and Carod acted in such a precipitous way? What caused their modus operandi, which does not concord with the reputation for seriousness and trustworthiness that we Catalans have worked for? Maybe one answer is enough: For these politicians, culture has a mere instrumental and propagandistic value, and it's more important to shoot first rather than take aim."