Ferrol - Urban History
Franco Period
Statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Franco (2002)

The statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was built in the years before the Civil War, and belongs to a tradition going back to the Paris Commune, in which Christ was represented as suffering for the sins of his children who had fallen victim to leftist views. The statue of Franco, cast in bronze, was erected in 1937 in the early days of the Spanish Civil War, and belonged to a new tradition of personnality cult. The village in which it was erected, San Mateo, provided Ferrol with workers, and had been the seat of an active socialist peasants' society. Now political repression was leading to large numbers of executions there. Both statues now formed a group of sculptures, which was reminiscent of the iconography of the processions in Spain's Holy Week in which two floats cross paths and meet. The Sacred Heart appears to be heading over to greet the new dictator with open arms.

Photograph by the author