THE Catalan Government has come under scrutiny after paying over €3 million in donations to an organisation that claims many famous figures were actually from Catalunya.
The money was revealed to have been paid by Catalan Vice President Pere Aragones to two media companies owned by Albert Codinas, founder and leader of the Institut Nova Història (INH).
The INH has also been the recipient of an €184,000 donation from Catalan
TV network TV3 for exclusive rights to show a series of six INH documentaries.
The organisation is famous for making up its own version of Spanish and
European history and claiming popular historical figures were actually
Popular conspiracies include the idea that the author of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes actually wrote in Catalan and that his true identity was covered up by the Spanish Inquisition.
They also believe that thanks to a really tenuous language link, Cervantes and Shakespeare were the same person.
Another crazy theory was the idea that Christopher Columbus, the explorer famously born in Genoa, Italy, was Catalan and that the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus was his love child.
Actual historians have publically slammed the organisation for their crazy conspiracies and are concerned that media outlets such as TV3 are giving them airtime.
“The INH are not even academic historians, they’re people who have no idea, who don’t understand historical methodology and don’t even know how to look for or read historical documents”, said Vicent Baydal, a history of law professor in Valencia and the co-author of Pseudo History Against Catalunya.
Even Catalan purists are concerned of the impact of the organisation and the government’s supposed support of them.
Gabriel Rufian, the spokesman for the pro-independence Catalan Left party, urged the region’s government to stop funding the INH last year.
“No pseudoscience or pseudo-history should be funded with public money,”
he said. “It only serves those who wish to portray us as small, ridiculous and angry losers.”