Friday, 20 July 2012

'Is this but a dream I am having?'

ALGECIRAS A Quijote on a Vespa scooter is hardly a Quijote, even if the vehicle was named Rocinante by those who saw him every day. He is even less off a Quijote without his head, an arm or his lance. This curious version of Don Quijote de la Mancha, by art teacher Alfonso Ortega, was created to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Cervantes's famous character. He has been in residence on his plinth since 1992, guarding the street and the roundabout below the Art School in Algeciras, a symbol of the creativity that goes on inside. The vandalism that broke him up happened early on either Sunday or Monday morning, according to the school's new head, Juan Carlos Pardo, who says the last time he saw the sculpture was on Saturday evening, "and it was perfectly alright." He was told of it by the workers who are renovating the school, on Monday morning. Pardo found the arm nearby but there was no lance and no head. In the end the lance was found on Tuesday in a skip up the street - and the head appeared miraculously by the plinth on Wednesday, and was spotted by a student who had come with several friends summoned by Twitter and Facebook, to inspect the damage. The director says that it will not be too big a problem to restore the statue, since the major pieces have been found. After many years of waiting patiently, the Art School is undergoing long overdue renovation and repairs at last. A dream, an impossible dream, comes true.

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