MONUMENT TO THE FALLEN IN AFRICA
Granite y bronze
Memorial clearly inspiration of the Greek world. The main figure is a Victoria carrying proudly in his right hand a laurel wreath. Reminds the Victory of Samothrace in the use of the technique of damp cloths: on the pedestal her apparels flutter hugging her body. Also uses contemporary elements that connect the image with works like the Statue of Liberty or the Victoria of Turín, for a up-thrust, a strong verticality for the right arm and the wings pointing to the sky making a V. His hair is worked in large masses to the style expressionist, while the coat of arms of the city evokes of nine hundred art. The figure crowns a lofty pilaster of blue granite, whose capital is whole work of Manuel Barros; has 9 stones, eight decorated with acanthus leaves and the other forming the top trim and has the pedestal with bronze motifs. In the base appears cards with panoramic views of Ceuta, Melilla, Alhucemas and the Biutz. These are the work of the marine captain Don Víctor Gutiérrez Jiménez. The dedicatory card was create by Sabino Rico Díaz.
In the bottom of the central hollow core carrying the shaft of the monument was decided to place a scroll, with a newspaper, drawings, photographs, coins, contained in a double crystal box wrapped in paraffin and zinc.
The smelting works begin in September 1948, using the cannons of Africa, donation of the Ministerio del Ejército.
The iniciative of raising a monument to the fallen of Ferrol in Africa emerged in the year 1927. The first proposal is to construct a monument to the general Franco, but he declined in favour of a work dedicated to the deceased. The first promoter is the Junta Directiva of the Casino, which starts fundraising through charity festivals and popular subscription. In 1935 there is a proposal of Don José de Vierna y Belando, a committee is named for to activate the works, and select to the sculptor Juan Balás for to execute the monument. In 1936 the end of the war and the death of the sculptor paralyze the project; however the collection is still open and in January 1946 the figure reached 25.868,18 pesetas.
In 1946 the board of directors with Rivero de Aguilar as vice-chair, agreed to continue with the activity for the completion of the monument. Days later in a newspaper article asks for the erection of the monument or the distribution of funds for charity. The directive of the Casino convened a meeting to members who had chaired the company since 1926 and who knew the problem, here appears a permanent committee formed for a representative of the council, other of the Círculo Mercantil, one of the local press, one of the "C.O. of C.N.M. "and the Junta Directiva of the Casino.
It celebrates a sketch competition, the first prize will be desert, so the presented one is admitted out of contest, work of Hilario Ruíz de Labourdette in collaboration with Torrente Ballester. Work begins on October 4, 1946 until that the author is absent from the city on 21 November, at which time had begun excavation and driving of the piles of concrete. The charge is Manuel Barros now, deals with the calculation and to quartering of the reinforced concrete structure and reform of the drawing chosen to fit the most appropriate dimensions.
While in Santiago, Rivero de Aguilar signs a contract with Asorey which latter undertook to present two models of which the committee would choose the most worthy to consider, as well as the project, with 5 meters high and the presentation of the plaster to be cast in bronze.
The commission goes to Asorey's studio and choose the model that tops the monument today with little changes, as that the crown is greater and that in the shield, on which the Victory rests, were appearing the arms of the city, copied of the emblem of today missing source of San Roque, apparently the oldest of the city. Mateo García de los Reyes (chief engineer casting of a important local company) and Cruz Bermejo (master of it) indicated the parties of the division of the molds. Asorey receives it in July 1948.
Asorey made two reproductions in bronze model of a meter; one is donated to Franco and another to Casino of Ferrol.
The monument was inaugurated on 15 September 1949, the act being chaired for the general Franco. The Navy and the Army, mayors, ministers, regional and local authorities and ex-servicemen completed the list of attendees. At the height of the monument were the full of the Commission with Mr. Peña Gabilán, president of the Casino in 1926. The sculptors Asorey and Víctor Gutiérrez, the Dopico engineer, the colonel Iglesias Braje and the council was in full.