Enrique Ponce fought at the Las Ventas festival with the effigy of Franco on the button of his jacket | Culture

The bullfighter Enrique Ponce, on May 2 in Las Ventas, with the effigy of Franco on the button of his jacket.
The bullfighter Enrique Ponce, on May 2 in Las Ventas, with the effigy of Franco on the button of his jacket.Alfredo Arévalo / Bullfighting Affairs Center

Right-handed Enrique Ponce participated in the bullfighting festival held on May 2 in Las Ventas with the effigy of Franco on the buttons of the jacket and vest of the short gray suit he was wearing. The buttons were an imitation of the silver coins of 5, 25 and 50 pesetas from the time of the dictatorship, and on them you could see the portrait of the former head of state and the legend “Francisco Franco, caudillo de España por la gracia de God”.

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The right-hander has been surprised by the commotion produced; In statements to this newspaper, he discards any political connotation, and affirms that in all his short suits he uses coins instead of buttons. “I did not live the Franco era, and I have nothing to do with that stage,” says Ponce. “I like to use old coins in my costumes and I have them from Isabel II, Alfonso XIII, the emeritus king, the current Monarch and also from Franco,” he adds.

Detail of the effigies of Franco in Ponce's suit.
Detail of the effigies of Franco in Ponce’s suit.Alfredo Arévalo / Bullfighting Affairs Center

“The jacket that I wore on Sunday in Las Ventas I made it 15 years ago, and I have worn it on different occasions,” continues the bullfighter, who adds that he was not aware of the repercussion it could have in the current political circumstances. The bullfighter insists that he has not tried to create any controversy: “I have nothing to do with the Franco regime, so I made that jacket not for Franco, but for the currency itself.”

They were silver coins of five, 25 and 50 pesetas with the legend “Francisco Franco, leader of Spain by the grace of God”

Ponce completed the suit with black and gray striped trousers (calzona), a white shirt, boots and a Cordovan hat, as is customary in the clothing of bullfighters when they participate in a festival, in the temptations or in other tasks in the campo bravo. .

The so-called country suit is usually made in different colors, with a predominance of gray and brown to better withstand dirt and dust; the jackets and vests are usually of various shades (his fellow poster wore them in blue, black, red and dark green velvet), and are accompanied by traditional buttons or silver with the initials of the bullfighters, as used by the right-hander Miguel Ángel Perera, or the iron from his livestock, which El Juli carried as a breeder of wild cattle.

Enrique Ponce, born on December 8, 1971 in the Valencian town of Chiva, was about to turn four years old when Francisco Franco died on November 20, 1975, and no statements are known in which he has shown longing for the dictatorship. Ponce was also a child when they stopped minting the coins that adorned his short suit by way of imitation. Those of 5, 25 and 50 pesetas were manufactured between 1958 and 1975 in cupronickel; On the obverse there was a portrait of Franco, the legend of the dictator and the year of issue, and on the reverse, his face value and the coat of arms on the so-called eagle of San Juan.

Ponce took the alternative on March 16, 1990 in Valencia, and is still active. First figure of bullfighting on his own merits and a dazzling career in the main fairs of Spain, France and America, he does not seem willing to hang up the suit of lights despite his maturity.

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