Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Monolith to Franco on the Beautiful Islas Cies

One of the few remaining monuments in Vigo of Franco's fascist regime was finally brought down on Tuesday after a failed attempt on Monday.

The beautiful Islas Cies are situated 10km (6miles) west of Vigo. The islands are a national park and features in the list of Top 10 Beaches in the world click here to see the review.

The islands are a natural barrier against the Atlantic and protects Vigo's bay from the fury of Atlantic storms which shelters the large mussel farming industry along with making the beaches on the mainland very safe for recreational activities. As beautiful as they are the islands had an ugly scar in the form of a 15m high monolith, erected during the times of Franco.

On 30 June the 15m high monolith on the Islas Cies erected in 1961 to honour Franco was set for demolition by explosives. To view the video of this slightly embarrassing moment click here or to view as a series of photos click here.
After the failure to fire (so to speak) of the day before, a further 25kg of explosives were laid yesterday, 1st July and the monolith was finally brought down.

Apparently the monolith had been reinforced with railway iron tracks, (obviously built to last) which went unnoticed on first inspection. Before the second attempt, these were cut through to allow for a more smoother toppling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The monolith looks (or should I say looked) from a distance quite reminiscent of the old Spanish lighthouses of a few hundred years ago (e.g. like the ones at O Pindo, la Coruna etc). I suspect that its “ugly scar” status and subsequent removal has had more to do with its political association than its actual aesthetics.

An interesting point about history is that it is of course only valid if both the good and the bad representations of a period are retained. When this is done it can then be left to future generations (who are free from the baggage of the period) to place the monuments in a true historical perspective.

Personally, I think that this demolition was a move that takes away a small piece of punctuation in modern Spanish history and it had little if anything to do with architecture, blots on the landscape or anything else.

The other point is of course that removing every last representation of the Franco regime will not undo the bad things that happen during that period. Ultimately, this kind of action only results in bringing them back into the publics perception all over again – but who knows, perhaps that is a clever an cynical move by the local government.