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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The official review of the Torico: “You can tell it’s not the original”

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The official report on the damage suffered is the Torico, a 45-centimetre sculpture, a symbol of the city of Teruel, which collapsed last Sunday from a height of 11 meters and is part of a monumental fountain in the center of the city very clearly . : “One can guess that it is not the original”.

In the study commissioned by Teruel City Council after the accident and entitled Emergency repair of the Torico Fountain shaft. Technical criteria addressedLiterally it says: “In all the sources consulted it is stated that the number [debería ser] Bronze, like the whistles [decorativos de la fuente]. However, when it collapsed and splintered, the material from which it is constructed was confirmed to be cast iron. [hierro] Gray. Soledad Díaz, a restorer specializing in metals from the 1stInstitute of Spanish Heritage [dependiente del Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes]during the June 21, 2022 session on the occasion of the repair that there are notable stylistic differences between the pipes [de bronce] and the bull [de hierro], and that the material used in the latter is typical of a more industrial period. From these assessments, it can be concluded that the recently fallen figure is not the original from 1858, but a replica from the early 20’s town in 1937. This is a hypothesis based on stylistic criteria and the use of materials In other words, the report suggests that the original 19th-century bronze sculpture was replaced by an iron one, like EL PAÍS, during the Civil War announced this Thursday.

History says that in 1171 the troops of Alfonso II of Aragon They confiscated from the Muslims the land where the city was to be founded that year. Legend has it that a stop was chosen where a bull was found with a shining star on it. Horn and star have been part of the community’s cultural imaginary ever since. The fountain, the report says, was built in 1855 and replaced an earlier piece designed by the French-born engineer. Pierre Vedel. This fountain, dating from 1557, was in turn built on top of some old 14th-century medieval cisterns.

The statue was damaged in a bombing raid in 1937 “the city withstood numerous air raids during the Civil War”, which prompted the family of Gómez Cordobés to remove it and keep it in a safe place, according to popular tradition, until the end of the war. After the war it was restored around 1940. It was restored in 2003, removing the black paint that covered the figure of the animal from the monument. The cultural value of the estate lies above all in its central role during the start of the Angel or Heifer celebrations, which begin on July 1st. During these popular celebrations, the sculpture features a red cloth worn by the clubs’ members. They climb up the column and kiss the icon. But the parish chronicler of Teruel, who Professor of Medieval History Vidal Muñoz, recently discovered that the torico was not guarded by this family but was kept under a pile of firewood in the Teruel town hall during the civil war.

The report also points out that on the morning of Sunday June 19, 2022, while four workers were removing the ropes that connected the torico to the balconies of the square where it stands, on the occasion of the end of some days of bullfighting, a column collapsed and hit one of the bollards surrounding the well, suffering significant damage in various places. The small metal sculpture’s horns and legs snapped, while the capital that supported it shattered “into a multitude of fragments and other elements, such as the fluted shaft and crown of the baptismal font.” At that very moment, during the restoration, the city council discovered that it was not made of bronze, as indicated in its archives, but of iron. Theoretically someone had switched at some point.

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“The root cause [de la caída] It was the lateral thrust that was initiated in the column when the ropes were loosened on one side, although the collapse of the shaft revealed the poor state of preservation of the iron rod that connected all the parts inside and which was completely detached from the humidity of the air. The technicians also regard “a number of fundamental principles as inalienable”, such as the strict conservation and maintenance of the fountain, avoiding unnecessary renovation or embellishment work that does not respect its values ​​of authenticity and antiquity. They recommend fitting the shaft with corrugated fiberglass rods to sew and reposition the parts, “respecting the original position and orientation of each element, consulting photos and graphic documentation before the fall”.

Yesterday, the Director General of Heritage of the Government of Aragon, Marisancho Menjon, He wrote on Twitter that his department had known the monument was made of iron for 20 years. However, no one from the city council knew this, so the surprise for the city administration was great when, after the fall, they found that the horn on display in the city was made of iron and not bronze as stated in the city archives ” That it is made of iron is known since at least 1994 when it was examined by the Teruel Museum There is no report that says what the news is claiming [de EL PAÍS]there is only the appreciation of a restaurateur from Madrid [en referencia a Soledad Díaz, reconocida especialista en metales del Instituto de Patrimonio Cultural de España] which this material appears to be more typical of a somewhat later period. Heavy”. Menjón, on the other hand, has not responded to the requests of this newspaper to get its direct version and to explain why the consistory was not informed that it is made of iron and why no investigation was opened.

The city council, its experts and the Santa Maria de Albarracín Foundation, who are in charge of coordinating the restoration, insist they were completely unaware that the regional government had known for two decades that the statue was made of iron. The capital’s mayor, Enma Buj, from the PP, assures that she will uncover the truth. Meanwhile, the urban opposition is demanding explanations. When and who exchanged the bronze torico, the city’s greatest icon, for an identical iron one? That is the still unanswered question. when it was done

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Source elpais.com

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