At the end of the Ramblas, below the Military Museum, we have our very own Valle de los Caídos. It is a large sculpture created by artist Juan de Ávalos in 1965. The monument was originally entitled “Monumento a Su Excelencia el Jefe del Estado”: a man standing on an angel represents Franco in his plane on his famous flight to the mainland to initiate the Civil War: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monumento_a_Su_Excelencia_el_Jefe_del_Estado. Note how he holds the sword as a cross. This sculpture is not forgotten. In 2010, the sculpture was officially renamed to “Monument to the Fallen Angel” (yes, Lucifer), renamed again in 2011 to “Monument to Victory”. Around 1/11/2016 (among other occasions), someone splashed red paint on it all (cleaned off in a few days), and this article appeared, suggesting we rename the sculpture to “The dictator’s trampoline”, http://www.elpaiscanario.com/propuesta-para-pintar-el-monumento-de-franco-de-santa-cruz-y-mas/. Another article said that the sculpture itself is an act of vandalism: http://diariodeavisos.elespanol.com/2017/02/ramon-trujillo-monumento-franco-acto-vandalismo/
Since 2020, the pro-monument forces have gathered with billboards and a website defendamostenerife.com to support the monument, which they call “Angel de la Paz”. They point out that the monument was paid for by donations of citizens.
In light of the Ley de Memoria, which says to keep polemic monuments as they stand, I would say also to leave the monument, but definitely dress it up for the occasion during Carnaval: maybe a Snow White outfit or Barbie, perhaps. I would certainly also dress up the lads with the shiny butts downtown — the other big Franco monument in town.
In other post-Franco news, eight street names in Santa Cruz were changed in 2008. They are:
Calle General Goded –>Calle del Perdón
Calle General Fanjul –> Calle del Olvido
Calle General Sanjurjo –> Calle de los Sueños
Calle General Moscardó –> Calle de Amor
Calle General García Morato –> Calle de Tolerancia
Calle General Franco –> Rambla de Santa Cruz
Calle General Mola –> Avenida Islas Canarias
That’s quite a name: “General Goded”.
Could this polemic be affecting the nearby trees?
In front of the Monument on the former General Franco street are a line of centuries-old laurel trees. Between a fungus and general unhappiness, these trees here have been dying for 50 years, especially the ones closest to the Monument. 6 got chopped down in 2020. The next two on their way to the chopping block have lights of artist names hanging on them, part of the
though this sculpture isn’t on the list. When the next two get chopped down, where will these artist signs go? Jean Tinguely, Umberto Boccioni, Joseph Cornell, El Lissitzky, Giorgione, George Maciunas, we haven’t forgotten you. Well, some of us have.