All the people take photographs of those most representative works of this city. In that way, it seems as if the whole city were a big museum open 24 hours a day.
Walking down this city, following a map or being in the same centre we can follow the route of sculptures. This is not a fixed route and does not require seeing all the hundreds of sculptures of this city.
In the last years the city of Oviedo has increased the number of its urban attractions. This fact is due to the new emerging of public sculptures that now appear in any corner of this city.
Oviedo and Woody Allen
Oviedo is above all a pedestrian and comfortable city. The famous film director, Woody Allen, was awarded the Prize Prince of Asturias in Arts in 2002. Woody while walking by the streets of Oviedo told a great number of praises about this city. In his words “Oviedo is a delicious, exotic and beautiful city as if it belonged to another world, something similar to a fairy tale”. Oviedo is for him “an aisled territory but full of beauty”. This makes one feel out of his present reality “in a kind of protected atmosphere”.
Since the last visit of this famous person, this city has found the way to thank him for his nice words. The statue of Woody Allen that now “walks” by the urban centre surprised pleasantly this film director when he came back to Asturias in May, 2005. A well Known newspaper entitled this meeting like “Allen meets Allen”. After observing it patiently, Woody commented to his partners that it was really difficult to react in front of a statue of oneself. Later, in an appearance at the auditorium Woody told another of his mythical phrases: I would like to come here every year to put on myself a crown of flowers.
The case is that this statue is unique and known in all around the world and is also now a sign of identity of “the historial centre of Oviedo”.
They are many who take a photo of themselves side by side with his statue. Some of these blended into his pose; a step putting his left leg forward, some put his hands on his pockets, adopt a thoughtful countenance and finally they almost forget that what walks by them is only a statue.
Oviedo and the sculptures of the old town
The eagerness for taking photos with the statues of Oviedo started in the year 1993. It was when thousands of tourists stopped to take a photo of the Square of Porlier where a statue of a solitary man is surrounded by some suitcases. It is “The coming back of Williams B. Arrensberg”, by Eduardo Úrculo is widely known as the “traveller”. It is a pioneer work on its genre which gives the old urban centre of this city an adventurous air. For Úrculo certain objects such as suitcases, coats, banks and especially hats are full of symbolism about the human condition.
In the Square of the cathedral we can find another fictional character. A bronze woman walks still with an old dress. She is Ana Ozores, “La Regenta”, who lived in an imaginary city of Oviedo (Vetusta). This book was written by Leopoldo Alas Clarín and, with this statue this famous literary work is still present.
Oviedo and Botero, Oviedo and Úrculo…
Fernando Botero came to Oviedo to give it his fattest sculpture. This great Colombian artist contributed to the basic route of sculptures. The great “Maternity”, queen and lady of the Square of the Escandelera, with its 800 kg of weight, raises on her arms a fattiest boy, a woman can conceive.
The fat of these figures and their usual disproportion gave more popularity to the last sculpture which is in front of the Campoamor Theatre in 2001. “The Cullis Monumentalibus” by Úrculo. This sculpture has no secret meaning, it is just an ass. The height of this sculpture reaches 4 metres.
There are hundreds of sculptures which are spread for any corner of this city from the Park San Francisco up to the darkest corners. Style is varied. “The biological Cow” by Cuco Suárez is probably the most modern work in this city. It is placed in the winter park, and it is made of methacrylate and its transparency leaves an illuminated circuit of neon that let us see the internal functions of this animal. Its night vision is really surprising.
Asturias, its costumes and its traditional works are a constant element in practically all the statues of Oviedo. “The Sellers of the Fontán”, in the Square of the Fontán; “The milkwoman and the fishmonger” all of them located in the Square of Trascorrales. The famous photo of “The Woman Bullfighter” is in the Park of San Francisco, and all these are good examples of these subject matters.
There are many other sculptures in our route by Oviedo as for instance: “The Concord Monument”, in the Square Carbayón, “Peace”, in the Foundation Prince of Asturias Avenue, “Life” in the Square Hermandad de Donantes, “The Violinist” in the Square of La Gesta, “The Matador” in Palacio Valdés, “Beggar with dogs” in the street Alejandro Casona, “The Asturcones”, in the Square of La Escandelera and a long etc.
Oviedo is probably a huge mosaic of different sculptures, but probably the most famous is “The Sagrado Corazón of Jesús” on the top of the Mount Naranco.Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com