The City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria inaugurated the Plaza Agatha Christie yesterday, the anniversary of her death in 1976, in the space located between the Go Fit sports complex and the La Cícer catwalk, in tribute to the stay of the creator of the incidents Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple in the capital of Gran Canaria in 1927, but perhaps also as a manifestation that historical memory, far from being an enigma, is an exercise of justice.
The choice of space is due to the author’s link with the beach and surfing.
The launch was chaired by the mayor of the capital, Augusto Hidalgo, together with the councilor for Culture, Encarna Galván and the councilor of the Isleta-Puerto Guanarteme District, Luis Zamorano, where the first explained that the location of the square in this specific section del Paseo de Las Canteras responds to the link established by the author with the capital’s beach and, specifically, with the practice of surfing. “Agatha Christie was one of the pioneering women of surfing in the city, so this was the perfect excuse to put her name on this square in this environment and, at the same time, take the opportunity to recognize the relationship she had with this city in the same day of the anniversary of his death, ”declared Hidalgo.
Although at that time it already hoarded more than half a dozen published novels – its total production exceeds a hundred works of different genres -, Hidalgo recalled that the passage of the writer through Las Palmas de Gran Canaria constituted a turning point prior to its consolidation as a reference universal of the detective novel, renamed the “queen of crime.” And it is that Christie ended up in the city in the depths of a depression as a result of her divorce from Archibald Christie in 1926, in a social context impregnated with Victorian reminiscences that only put obstacles to the emancipation of women.
After a brief stay in Puerto de la Cruz, in Tenerife, Christie moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria with her daughter Rosalind, 13, and her secretary, known as Carlo, on February 27, 1927. The three women They stayed at the Hotel Metropole, run by the British, where today the municipal offices of the city are erected and a first commemorative plaque is preserved in their honor. “For something he chose the Hotel Metropole: here there was a beach of golden sand and the people of the English Club used to sit on the steps, with their feet in the water, their long mouthpiece and their hats, to take the cool”, related Betty Burgess , Medal of the British Empire, in the program Canarias es Cultura, by Televisión Canaria, in an episode dedicated to Christie’s imprint on the Island.
And this is how Christie herself describes this balsamic parenthesis of light and beach, in addition to parties, concerts and “tea dances” at the English Club, in her Autobiography (1978): “I had two perfect beaches; the temperature was also: the average was about 25 degrees, which for me is the ideal summer temperature. Most of the day there was a great breeze blowing and the nights were warm enough to sit outside for dinner. ”
For his part, Hidalgo recalled that the recently named Plaza Agatha Christie began to be built five years ago, at the beginning of the previous mandate of this government group, whose work project has managed to win more beach for citizens in a previously depressed space, along with other endowments such as the spa and the Red Cross and Local Police points, and which will be finished with the opening of the new Josefina de la Torre Library, scheduled for the second half of this year, in such a way that it is braided There would be a symbolic dialogue between these two writers linked to the memory of Playa de Las Canteras.
His stay in Gran Canaria inspired the story ‘La Señorita de Compañía’, published in 1933
However, Agatha Christie’s stay in Gran Canaria not only breathed renewed air into the wound before returning to England, with the help of English doctors who traveled to Gran Canaria to treat her, but her landscapes also inspired those of some of her stories successive stories, such as the short story La Senorita de Compania, collected in the volume Miss Marple and the thirteen problems (1933), which he began to write on the island, and which evokes corners of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Agaete, specifically, with intrigues located in the Hotel Metropole and in Playa de las Nieves.
Award for ‘The Headless of Harrogate’
The novel El decapitado de Harrogate, by the Alicante writers Ximo Llorens Baena and Jordi Peidro Torres, wins the International Prize for Mystery and Police Novels from the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council. The winners will receive a financial prize of 10,000 euros and will see their work published by the Promotion of the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The Culture area of the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, through Promotion and the Network of Municipal Public Libraries, launched last June 2020 the first call for this contest within the framework of the 130th anniversary of the birth of Agatha Christie. The award ceremony was also going to be held yesterday, but it had to be postponed due to the inability to travel due to the storm Filomena. | LP / DLP