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Statue takes shot at Spain's ex-king Juan Carlos

[Press center7] time:2023-06-06 09:51:17 source:ABC News author:Press center 1 click:92order

A sculpture mocking Spain's former King Juan Carlos has appeared in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square.

He is shown aiming a rifle at a larger statue of a bear, an emblem of Madrid.

Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favour of his son Felipe in 2014 after 39 years on the throne, has been heavily criticised for his love of hunting.

The sculpture of the ex-king appeared within hours of him leaving Spain after a brief visit from self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.

Chilean artist Nicolás Miranda placed the small statue, made from polyurethane, in the central square so that the former king appeared to take aim at Madrid's popular bronze of a bear eating from a strawberry tree.

The bear sculpture mirrors Madrid's coat of arms and is beloved by tourists and locals alike.

While the likeness of the former king stayed only for 10 minutes at the Puerta del Sol, photos of it have been widely shared on social media and in Spanish media.

Miranda said he had studied CCTV footage of the square and chose his moment when police were in the process of changing guard in the square.

His art installation brought back memories of several controversies involving Juan Carlos's reign.

The palace always denied the then-king had shot dead a tame bear made drunk on vodka during Juan Carlos's trip to northern Russia in 2006.

But photos of him posing in front of a dead elephant during a 2012 hunting trip to Botswana were harder for the palace to brush off and caused his approval rating to plummet.

The art stunt in the centre of Madrid comes as the former monarch faces further public criticism.

Juan Carlos left Spain on Tuesday after what was only his second visit to his home country since he moved to Abu Dhabi in 2020 amid several corruption inquiries.

During his stay, which lasted less than a week, the former king, who loves sailing as well as hunting, spent time in Sanxenxo on the north-west coast, where his yacht competed in a regatta.

Inquiries into his finances were shelved last year due to insufficient evidence, but prosecutors said that they had found several irregularities.

(editor-in-charge:Press center2)

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