An appeal calling for testicles to be added to one of two bronze lions outside the Spanish Parliament in Madrid has been rejected by Spain’s Culture Minister for being potentially harmful.
The lion statues are named Daoíz and Velarde after two Spanish soldiers who lost their lives in the 1808 uprisings against France’s occupation of Madrid under Napoleon. One of these two statues, however, is posed in such a way as to reveal that the lion is incomplete and has no testicles.
The campaign was launched in 2012 by Carolina Godayol, head of Spain’s History Channel, who found no artistic, historical or biological reason for Daoíz to be lacking his ‘lionhood’.
The TV channel offered to cover the cost of having Daoíz endowed for the first time in its 142-year life.
But José Ignacio Wert, Minister for Education and Culture, has alleged the lion’s castration was just a “factory defect” and that adding genitalia made from a different metal could have “harmful effects” on the statue.
“This can be a particularly serious problem for metal sculptures as adding a different material can cause galvanic corrosion,” Wert said.