Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a news conference at Madrid's Moncloa Palace August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Susana Vera
MADRID - 11 December 2017: Protesters clashed with police trying to reclaim disputed religious artefacts from a museum in Catalonia on Monday, in the latest display of tension between Catalan separatists and Spain's central government ahead of a December 21 election, Daily Mail reported.
Culture Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo angered Catalan nationalists in November by using special temporary powers to accept a petition by a judge from Aragon calling for the artefacts to be returned to their previous home, the Monastery of Sijena.
Hundreds of demonstrators on Monday massed at the museum of Lleida in western Catalonia where the artefacts were kept and pro-independence groups called supporters to stop the police from removing them.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government could not oppose court rulings because it would mean stepping outside the rule of law.
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