An Olympic renaissance
The Barcelona model
in Following Franco
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In the manner of the proverbial hare and tortoise, Barcelona was slow to harness the potential of the post-Franco explosion of creativity, but eventually overtook Madrid in the race to become the cultural capital of Spain. The catalyst for this transformation was hosting the Olympic Games, which, initially at least, appeared to constitute a more sustainable cultural revolution than the Movida for four interrelated reasons: (1) the understanding of heroin addiction as a social problem rather than collateral damage; (2) a greater collaboration between the public and private sectors; (3) a privileged natural environment, a city nestled between the city and the sea; and (4) better co-ordination between urban renewal and cultural rehabilitation. This chapter offers a cost–benefit analysis of the Olympic adventure in relation to Barcelona and Spain’s (inter)national relations and the lives of their citizens.

Following Franco

Spanish culture and politics in transition, 1962–92

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