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President of Madrid Puts Foot In Mouth, Offends Architects Everywhere

Photo via La Paseata.
Photo via La Paseata.

Politicians caught on camera say the darndest things. Like – if you’re Esperanza Aguirre, President of Madrid – that architects “should be killed.”

The Politician was unknowingly recorded while speaking with the Mayor of Valdemaqueda, a municipality of Madrid, about their town hall. The building, known as Casa Consistorial de Valdemaqueda (1998), designed by Paredes Pedrosa, was an award-winner at the Spanish Biennale of 1999. Their conversation (translated by yours truly) went as follows:

Mayor: The town hall? Oh, that thing. Well, it’s gotten prizes, president. Architecture prizes.

Esperanza Aguirre: That’s the only positive thing that’s come from the Crisis, that that’s all over. I have never seen anything uglier.

Mayor: You don’t like it?

Esperanza Aguirre: How could I like it, hidden at the end of a plaza like this!

Mayor: Well, because they’re the architects of the Community.

Esperanza Aguirre: Well, they should be killed.

Mayor: They’ve gotten awards.

Esperanza Aguirre: Mario, it’s so stupid (addressing a person next to her). Do you know why we should have the death penalty? I dislike architects because their crimes last longer than their own own lives. They die and leave us with this.

Find out what Ms. Aguirre has had to say for herself since, and take a peek at the original video footage after the break …

Earlier this morning, Ms. Aguirre tweeted her apologies (which you can see at the end of this post), saying “I would like to apologize to the architects and all those people and institutions who could have been bothered by my  commentary.” Followed by, “I take it back, the truth is that I feel very bad for having made those regrettable commentaries, even in a private conversation.”

Casa Consistorial de Valmaqueda, by Pablo
Casa Consistorial de Valmaqueda, by Pablo

For those of you who speak Spanish, here’s the video, with transcript courtesy of El Huffington Post, of the overheard conversation (the incident, which occurs after another one, starts around 1:50).

Alcalde: “¿El ayuntamiento? Ah, esa cosa. Pues tiene premios, presidenta. Tiene premios de arquitectura.Esperanza Aguirre: ”La única ventaja de la crisis, que se acabó”.

Alcalde: ”Sí, sí, creo que se hizo con Prisma”

Esperanza Aguirre: ”Yo no he visto nada más feo”.

Alcalde: “¿No te gusta?”.

Esperanza Aguirre: ”¡Cómo me va a gustar, en lo recóndito de una plaza como esta!”.

Alcalde: ”Pues, pues esos son los arquitectos de la Comunidad”.

Esperanza Aguirre: “Ya, es que habría que matarlos”.

Alcalde: “Les dan premios”.

Esperanza Aguirre: “Mario, que es muy burro (dirigiéndose a una persona que tiene al lado) ¿Tú sabes por qué habría que poner pena de muerte? Me caen mal los arquitectos porque sus crímenes perduran más allá de su propia vida. Se ha muerto y ahí nos ha dejado esto”.

Alcalde: ”Sí, si te acercas a la Iglesia, lo que han hecho en la Iglesia…”.

Story via El Huffington Post and Plataforma Arquitectura

Cite:Vanessa Quirk. "President of Madrid Puts Foot In Mouth, Offends Architects Everywhere" 06 Sep 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>