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Catalan journalist explores links between Gibraltar, Catalonia and Menorca

Martí Crespo, the Catalan freelance journalist and researcher, returned to the Rock in mid-April with a small delegation from the Institut de Projecció Exterior de la Cultura Catalana (IPECC).

The aim of the visit was to trace the heritage shared between Gibraltar, Catalonia and Menorca.

Mr Crespo, who has made a specialisation in the study of these links, first visited the Rock to attend the 2013 Symposium on the Tercentenary of the Treaty of Utrecht, hosted by the Garrison Library, where he made the acquaintance of Joseph Brugada.

“The Catalan links with Gibraltar date back to the capture of Gibraltar in 1704, when some 350 Catalan troops assisted the Anglo-Dutch forces in its capture,” Mr Brugada said.

“They landed at the isthmus, storming the Spanish-held northern defences and setting up defensive positions against enemy counterattacks from the mainland.”

Mr Brugada, whose father ‘Pepe el Catalan’ had a hairdressing salon in Bomb House Lane, met with Mr Crespo and the delegation, Josep Puig Torres, secretary of IPECC's board of directors, and senior members Josep Puig Peiró, Montserrat Montesinos and Joan Montaner, and joined them in their itinerary.

This included a walk through Casemates and Main Street, a guided tour of the Garrison Library and its gardens, and visits to the old town, the Upper Rock and Catalan Bay.

The IPECC delegation also wished to see a commemorative plaque that the Catalan body had presented to the Ministry of Culture in 2004 but, after much searching, there was no trace of it.

The ministry has undertaken to produce a replica from IPECC templates.

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