Jordi Solé Tura

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Jordi Solé Tura was born on 23 May 1930 in a family of bakers in Mollet del Vallés, (Barcelona). He was a politician and jurist by profession and is one of the so-called “FATHERS” of the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

While completing his military service, he decided to leave the family profession and began his higher secondary school studies, which he completed in a year and a half. After completing these studies, he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Barcelona and obtained his law degree in 1958 with an outstanding student award at the end of the course. He then began work as an associate professor in the Faculty of Political Law, headed by Professor Manuel Jiménez de Parga. In 1956, he joined the Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC), which was a secret organisation at the time. In 1957, he was punished with the loss of an academic year for having participated in acts against the Franco regime in the University of Barcelona’s Paraninfo Hall. In 1960, he was forced into exile for his anti-Franco activity.

During his exile in France, he was secretly sent to Bucharest in 1961 on the orders of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). There, he participated in Radio España Independiente (REI, La Pirenaica), a radio station platform for leftist ideas that secretly operated between the 1950s and 1970s. Jordi, the Catalan voice of REI, was one of its founders and gave weekly broadcasts in Catalan on the radio station, until he was succeeded by Victoria Pujolar.

In 1964, he was expelled from the party alongside other members such as Jorge Semprún, Fernando Claudin, Francesc Vicenc and Javier Padrera during the so-called “Carrillismo purges”.

In 1965, he returned to Spain and participated in the launch of the first non-tenured teachers’ organisation and the founding of the Democratic Student Union in the Convent of the Capuchins in Sarrià (Barcelona). He was arrested, fined and expelled from the university’s teaching staff, only to later join as assistant professor. He obtained his Doctorate in Law at the University of Barcelona in 1967 with a thesis on “The Political Thought of Enric Prat de la Riba”, for which he received a Summa Cum Laude. During the state of emergency in 1969, he was again arrested and spent several months in prison. That same year he founded, together with Jordi Borja, the group “Bandera Roja” (Red Flag). In 1974, he obtained the position of Assistant Professor of Political Law and re-joined the PSUC-PCE. After the death of General Franco in 1976, he was unanimously elected as Associate Professor of Political Law.

He defended the Eurocommunist theories of the PCE’s general secretary, Santiago Carrillo, in the PSUC and was elected a member of parliament for Barcelona in June 1977 and March 1979. Between 1978 and 1979, he was a member of the committee responsible for preparing the draft of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. Similarly, in the Spanish parliament he was elected as a member of the seven-person committee responsible for developing the draft of the new Spanish Constitution. He later ended up leaving the PSUC and joined the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC-PSOE), again being elected MP for Barcelona in 1989, 1993 and 1996.

In 1983, he ran for mayor of Barcelona and was elected councillor. In 1985, he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Barcelona.

Member of the Catalan Parliament and PSC Senator in 1988, he was also an MP in the Spanish Parliament from 1989. From 1991 to 1993, he was Minister of Culture in the government of Felipe González. During his time as minister, the Spanish National Library was refurbished and similar work began in the Royal Theatre, although this was not completed during his term. On 8 October 1992, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was opened in Madrid. The Reina Sofía Art Centre was converted into the Contemporary Art Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, MNCARS). On 26 July 1992, Picasso’s “Guernica” was moved to the MNCARS from its previous location in the Casón del Buen Retiro, part of the Prado Museum.

During the 1993-1996 term of office, he was chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe. During the 1996-2000 term of office, he was a senator for the Socialist group, while from 2000 he was a senator for Entesa Catalana de Progrès.

Lecturer, writer and contributor to several publications, he published works such as “Catalanismo y revolución burguesa” (1970), “Ideari de Valentí Almirall” (1974) and “Política internacional y conflictos de clase” (1974).

In 2008, the film “Bucharest, Memory Lost” was premiered, in which its director, and Tura’s son, Albert Solé Bruset, reviewed his father’s life and the Alzheimer disease that he was suffering.

On 4 December 2009, Jordi Solé Tura died at the age of 79, two days before the celebration of 31st anniversary of the Spanish Constitution.

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