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Fans mourn, opponents celebrate Barcelona's last bullfight

Sep 25, 2011, 1:19 p.m.
Spanish bullfighter Serafin Marin performs a pass with a red cape drawn with a bull and the word "Libertad" (freedom) written on it during the last bullfight at the Monumental bullring in central Barcelona September 25, 2011. REUTERS/Albert Gea

HOMAGE FROM CATALAN

The last matador to face a bull on Sunday's corrida will be a Catalan, Serafin Marin.

A stoical but solemn-faced Marin spoke to Reuters in his hotel room on Sunday afternoon, surrounded by an entourage of assistants who hoisted him into his skin-tight "suit of lights."

"I am responsible for this evening. I hope everything turns out great, that nothing happens, that everybody is happy, that they carry me out of the arena. And after that let God decide. Let's hope we can have bullfighting in Barcelona in 2012," he said.

Even the artistic event posters advertising the swansong to Catalan bullfighting have caused a stir. Most of the 1,500 on Barcelona's walls have been filched as mementos..

The law comes into effect in January 2012 but Sunday is Barcelona's official farewell as it is the end of the season.

Even though this weekend's two-day event -- top matador El Juli and two others were carried out of La Monumental on the shoulders of the crowd after Saturday night's fight -- ticket sales in Barcelona this year have not usually half-filled the arena.

The Catalonian Bullfighting Federation collected signatures for a petition against the ban.

"I think fans have mixed feelings. On the one hand they feel sorry, angry and powerless, but at the same time it feels unreal, like when you suddenly lose somebody you love and it feels unreal for days," David Guillen, spokesman for the Catalan Bullfighting Federation, told Reuters.

The opposition Popular Party is also in the process of appealing against the ban on the grounds it is unconstitutional.

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