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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Victory Monument in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The contentious Monumento a la Victoria or Monument to Franco

If you've approached the city from the north, you may have seen the Victory Monument, located in a space adjacent to the (Museo Histórico Militar de Canarias) Military History Museum of the Canary Islands, at the junction of the Rambla de Santa Cruz and Avenida de Anaga. Called variously Monumento a Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado (The Monument to His Excellency the Head of State), "Monument to Franco", "Monument of the Angel" and "Monument to Victory", it is the work of Juan de Ávalos. The Juan de Ávalos Foundation refers to the sculpture as a Memorial Monument to Peace. It was inaugurated in 1966.



Video: Inauguración del monumento al dictador en Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1966)

The sculpture is made of patinated, cast bronze on an iron frame. The angel flying with outstretched wings, is said to represent the Dragon Rapide flight in which Francisco Franco left to initiate the military coup that would unleash the Spanish Civil War. On the back of the angel is a male figure representing Francisco Franco holding a sword in the form of a Christian cross whose tip points downwards. It resembles the Cerro de las Aguzaderas or Angel of Peace, a work Ávalos made two years earlier at Valdepeñas (Ciudad Real).

During 2010 the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife modified the name of the fountain to Monument to the Fallen Angel, although the work does not represent a fallen angel nor had it been considered as such previously. This generated the criticism of several political and social groups (still ongoing), who opine that the City Council resorted to this change of name to avoid the Ley de Memoria Histórica de España (Historical Memory Law). After the municipal elections of 2011, the new government eliminated the modification, calling it Monument to Victory and recognizing its Francoist origin and symbology.

The work is in a poor state of maintenance and looks as if the city council is letting the ravages of time, elements and vandalism erase it rather than arranging it's demolition.

Monumento a la Victoria

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