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Urdangarin faces second meltdown

Madrid wax museum may move troubled royal to a different hall

The Madrid Wax Museum this weekend will move the wax figure of Iñaki Urdangarin to the Spanish sportsmen exhibit hall, separating him from the royal family, a museum spokesman has said.

The proposed move, which has not yet been finalized, comes after the Duke of Palma de Mallorca was excluded from official duties by the royal Zarzuela Palace as a result of the investigation he faces into his business affairs and alleged link with the so-called Palma Arena corruption case.

The waxwork of the Infanta Cristina's husband (who played on a Spanish Olympic handball team) is currently placed alongside the rest of the royal family at an official function, which is the reason for the statue's planned move. This decision is in line with a statement released by Zarzuela on Monday excluding Urdangarin from official ceremonies on the grounds that his conduct was "unbecoming" of a royal family member.

The museum's committee will meet to decide whether to transfer the former handball player to the sports hall. For the moment there is no plan to put the waxwork in a storeroom.

Recent news about the business affairs of King Juan Carlos' son-in-law has put the monarchy in a tough situation. The court that is investigating the Palma Arena case - centered on kickbacks paid in exchange for awarding of contracts for the building of a sports center - is also separately looking at the alleged diversion of public funds related to six contracts granted by the Balearic and Valencia governments worth six million euros. The contracts were given to the non-profit foundation chaired by Urdangarin, Instituto Noós, and later siphoned to his private companies, say investigators.