VALENCIA, SPAIN, March 19, 2013 (elmundo.es, translated from the original Spanish): Controversy erupted over a tableau created for the annual Las Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain, when two Hindu groups complained to the mayor that their cultural and religious feelings were being being insulted. Ninots, huge wood and cardboard "puppets," depicting Saraswati, Ganesha and Lord Shiva Nataraja had been created as part of a tableau entitled "Old Tales of India." The sticking point for the Hindu community was that the tableau was destined to be burned amid fireworks, like the hundreds of others of tableaus produced for the celebration, at the festival's end.
Things got heated between the artist and his supporters and the Hindu group as everyone was initially genuinely perplexed at the lack of understanding and cultural insensitivity from the "opposing" side. In the end, the artist affirmed that no offense to the Hindu community was intended, and it was agreed that the images of Gods would be spared from the flames. This was not the only ninot not destined, for religious reasons, to end up in ashes. An image of the Virgin Mary, in a tableau sponsored by the municipality, was also spared from the fire.