November 25, 2020

Almeida affirms that Largo Caballero’s plaque is “intact” because the shattered tombstone is not part of the monument


The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, denies that the bas-relief in homage to Francisco Largo Caballero, removed by the City Council from the Plaza de Chamberí and found in pieces in a municipal warehouse, has been destroyed. The councilor assures that the monument is “intact” because the smashed lower marble tombstone is not part of the set, as he has expressed after the act of homage to the hotel industry held at the Royal Post Office, in which he has accused the PSOE of say “half truths”.

Pepe Noja, the sculptor who carved the Largo Caballero plaque: "I never thought that at 82 years old I was going to live this"

Pepe Noja, the sculptor who carved the Largo Caballero plaque: “I never thought that at 82 years old I was going to experience this”

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The municipal socialist group, after publishing the photos showing the state of the monument, has recovered the original contract for the plaque, which was commissioned to the sculptor Pepe Noja for 473,557 pesetas in 1981. The document shows that the marble tombstone does belong to the set , despite the fact that the councilor has separated the two elements to justify that only the bronze part is the “determining factor”. In the last municipal plenary session, councilor Borja Fanjul defended that the “integrity” of the bas-relief had been maintained and that its withdrawal had been “scrupulous”.

The socialist group and also the UGT union have announced that they will sue “those responsible for the destruction.” “I could not wait for the state in which we have found it,” says the socialist councilor Ramón Silva, who found this Thursday the tombstone of marble smashed to pieces in the warehouse in the Plaza de la Villa. The legal actions that the PSOE will take, first through the contentious-administrative and later through the criminal, are in addition to the requirement that Más Madrid has already presented to the City Council as first step for the resource and those of the author of the sculpture.

The bas-relief, sculpted by Pepe Noja, has occupied the façade of the Chamberí District Board since 1981. The work was carried out by order of the City Council at that time, led by the socialist Enrique Tierno Galván. The Madrid City Council carried out its dismantling on October 15, two weeks after Vox presented in Plenary a proposal to end the trail on the street of the socialists Francisco Largo Caballero and Indalecio Prieto, against the criteria of historians . The support of PP and Ciudadanos allowed the initiative to be carried out, cheered by the extreme right.

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