R t V f F I

So, what do we do with the obelisk?

From January 2011 the obelisk of the Diagonal is a great monument to the Nothing. After 75 years of controversial existence, it´s time for Barcelona people to decide on its future.

Category: Revista | 20 October, 2011
Editor: Alfredo

In the crossing of Diagonal with Passeig de Gracia , also known as the “Cinc d’Oros”, one of the most famous monuments is elevated which is at the same time one of the most strange of Barcelona.  Popularly called “the pencil”, each day we pass for in front of him thousands of people from Barcelona, the majority of which do not know its history or meaning.  Rare nothing, keeping in mind that since its inauguration has gone passing from hand in hand, changing of cause according to the political moment.

A little history

The obelisk was inaugurated in 1936 in homage to Francesc Pi i Margall, second president of the I Spanish Republic.  Little the name lasted because three years later, after the civil War, the pro-franco authorities decided to change its sign and to reconvert it in a monument to the Victory.

The original statue that crowned it, work of the artist Josep Viladomat, was withdrawal and spent forty years gathering dust in a municipal store, until again was located in the plaza Llucmajor.  In its place another bronze female figure was placed created by Frederic Marès, with a laurel in the right hand and a small winged victory in the left.  With the arrival of the democracy, the monument became meaningless, if in some moment had it.

To calm to defenders and critics, the City Hall took the decision to substitute the plate in honor of the pro-franco victory by another in homage to the royal household and renamed the intersection of both avenues as Plaza Juan Carlos I, without be known anyone of Barcelona that have it called thus in twenty years.

The polemics

It is clear that the history of the “pencil” has been moved easily and quickly depending upon circumstances. But still could experience a new twist.  In January of 2011, pursuant to the Law of Historical Memory, the statue, of pro-Franco origin, was withdrawal and with her the commemorative plate, remaining the obelisk clean of any political symbol and orphan of meaning.  Since then, the most photographed crossing of Barcelona is chaired by a monument to the Nothing.

Political parties and institutions have clear the sense that each one would give him.  While CiU and ERC bet on dedicating it to the Liberty, really a broad concept, the Popular Party would prefer to recover the homage to the King, and Ricard Gomà, of ICV-EUiA, has stated publicly in some occasion that should be recovered the original medallion in memory to Frances Pi i Margall, like gesture of restitution of the historic memory. For the time being only are intentions and nobody dares to touch the monument. Are not the times to become in more puddles neither controversial.  But it is a matter of time.

The decision should be of the from Barcelona people.

In 75 years of history, ¿has anyone ever asked us what do we want to do with the obelisk? ¿And if we seek all together a sense to the pencil?  Why not?  Maybe thus it stops being something nuisance and alien, and becomes an authentic symbol of Barcelona, loved and appreciated by everybody.

Fast forward to the politicians, open up the debate, propose causes and names and decide together.  And if in the end we determine to do of him a Monument to the pencil sharpener will be fine, because we have decided together, free and democratically, without impositions of nobody.

To whom or what do you dedicate it? Do you aim at the debate?  We invite you to participate leaving your proposal here, in our page of Facebook or in Twitter with the hashtag #obeliscbcn.  Let´s see if together we remove tip to the pencil and we put him name.

Category: Revista | 20 October, 2011
Editor: Alfredo




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