Today we’ll have something a bit different from my usual blog posts: a mix of rant and current affairs comentary with a dash of gossip thrown in.
Anyone living in Portugal right now has heard about this (unless they also happen to live in Portugal but under a rock):
In a nutshell, Madonna wanted to have a horse inside a room in a palace in Sintra. Basílio Horta, the mayor of Sintra, has been getting pats on the back from virtually everyone for not allowing Madonna to have her way.
More often than not Portugal feels so small and almost begging for a scratch on the head by anyone foreign and “important”, that his attitude subconsciously puts us in a David vs Goliath context. But what if we scratch beneath the surface?
Call me a cynic, but I trust no politician, not a single one of them. Sure, some are better than others, but can you really roll around in filth without getting dirty?
Basílio Horta did the right thing, no doubt about that. What I don’t understand is why he doesn’t seem to show the same level of care for other historical buildings in Sintra. The Ermida de São Saturnino, for example, a building dating back to the Middle Ages, was completely abandoned and in ruins. To make matters worse, in October 2018, when a fire started there, Basílio Horta referred to the building as a hovel, making it clear he had very little, if any, notion of what he talking about (and no care for it, either).
Another example could be Quinta da Ribafria, built in 1541, and which consists of a few small buildings and a surrounding garden. Although it’s free to visit the maintenance is pretty much minimum in the garden and the buildings look like the inside structures could collapse at any time. Yet, it does have historical value.
Apparently, the mayor of Sintra said, when refusing Madonna’s request, that
“there are some things money can’t buy”. I couldn’t agree more, but… it sure can buy other things, like the super duper BMW he uses (paid for with taxpayer’s money, of course!). So why was this palace in particular shown a kind of care and interest that Basílio Horta doesn’t show towards other historical buildings in Sintra? Was he genuinely worried about Quinta Nova da Assunção or did he just see and grabbed with both hands an opportunity to give off an image of “good politician”?
I have made my mind on this subject, but I’d love to know your thoughts about this! 😉
The website: http://www.beyondlisbon.pt/