To meet EU demands for austerity, Spanish government officials have confirmed their intention to pay down the nation’s deficit by selling famous museums, formerly priceless artworks, and historical heritage sites.
The emerging plan invokes many breakthrough concepts in modern finance including:
· Turning the medieval town of Toledo into a Spanish Inquisition theme park for kids.
· Selling Picasso masterpieces on eBay.
· Allowing advertising in cathedrals.
In addition, commerce officials in Madrid today revealed a series of binding agreements between Spain and Carrefour, the giant French retailer. The accords give Carrefour exclusive rights to build “tasteful, consumer friendly warehouse super-stores” at key heritage sites around the country.
French demolition teams immediately tunneled into the granite beneath the Alhambra where they intend to open Spain’s first underground discount mall next summer.
Construction permits have also been issued for many other sites around the country, including Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, the Prado, and a series of convenient “Pilgrim Mini Marts” along the Camino de Santiago trail.
Though it may be too late to stop the sales, lawyers for the opposition Socialist Party are said to be looking for loopholes in the contract to block the French chain from “turning our rich cultural heritage into a cathedral to consumerism.”
“Shopping at Carrefour is an even richer cultural heritage,” company spokeswoman, Bea Fuentes, said in response to critics . “People will appreciate being able to see an old Spanish monument and buy bulk toilet paper and Nutella®.”
The government was careful to exempt all properties belonging to the Spanish Crown from the austerity measures, but scandal briefly touched the Royal Family when it was revealed that Carrefour had approached Letizia, Princess of Asturias, seeking her presence at the ribbon cutting ceremony opening Carrefour’s new Reina Sofia® Superstore in Madrid.
In response, a spokesman for the Royal Family made no comment.
In a parallel development, Carrefour is now negotiating to obtain commercial rights to the Great Mosque of Cordoba. “At first, we didn’t understand the significance of the
site,” Fuentes admitted. “I mean, is it a church? Is it a mosque? Who's the target demographic? Going forward, we’ll have to simplify the marketing message.” Cordoba
The austerity plan hit a speed bump when both the government and Carrefour claimed ownership of the art collection in the Prado. “The site’s a mess,” Fuentes insists. “We need to sell all that old artwork to pay for repairs.”
Austerity may turn out to be expensive if Carrefour sues the government for breach of contract. “We bought the Prado with everything in it,” Fuentes said. “Once we get rid of those dreary paintings, we’ll do a little redecorating and that place will have more charm than Paris Disneyland.”
The Prado is a mess