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Torredembarra leaves in the hands of its neighbors which sculpture should preside over the Bloc de Baix a Mar

A few meters from the coast, in front of Baix a Mar, the Bloc (the concrete foot) stands out from the water. In 1962 it supported an iron structure called La Pirámide, where it allowed boats to be beached using pulleys long before the current fishing dock saw the light inside the Torrense port (1993). In 1997 the iron beam structure was a danger and was dismantled – the presence of bathers entailed an unnecessary risk.

‘The piramid’. PHOTO: Jordi Valls Pedrol – Fons Fotogràfic L’Abans-Torredembarra

Two years later, in 1999 and as part of the celebration of 20 years of democratic town halls, a sculpture –Alfa i Omega– by the artist Rafael Bartolozzi, also the mayor of Vespella, was erected in its place.

The sculpture also suffered deterioration and in 2018 it was disassembled after verifying the risk of falling into the sea given the fragility of the materials. The dismantling of Alfa i Omega also made it possible to see that the Bloc needed repair and it was in 2021 when this cement base recovered its strength to once again house a monument with full guarantees of durability.

the query

With the Bloc established, it had already been made public that the municipal intention was to restore a sculpture on top of it that would recall part of the local history. What had to be decided was what type of monument would be placed, the Pyramid, symbol of the fishing past of Baix a Mar beach, or the sculpture by Bartolozzi.

The municipal decision was to activate a popular consultation so that the neighbors could decide. And the result of the votes was the option that would be reactivated on the city’s waterfront.

Yesterday, and after many months of work, the popular consultation was presented that will begin on the 30th. Under the question “What hi vols, al Bloc?” the web to vote are the characteristics and the cost that it will suppose to the coffers to restore one or another monument within a year.

PHOTO: Anna F.-Aj. Torredembarra

Mayor Eduard Rovira explained yesterday that the consultation was “a commitment of the mandate” and that the delay in convening it was for reasons of legal certainty. The website includes registered residents over 16 years of age (until March), but it will also identify those who pay the IBI of a second home property. They must first register for the census database to include them. Thus the number of voters will be around 15,000 voters, according to estimates of the consistory.

The consultation will be telematic, but the City Council has provided six physical points (City Hall, Mestra Maria Antònia library, Tourist Office, beach library, municipal pavilion and Patronat Antoni Roig) “so that people with more difficulty using the internet to be able to issue their vote have -in limited hours- facilities and help from the staff that is in these public spaces, “explained the Councilor for Citizen Participation, Marga Rovira.

No vote limit

The vote will last two weeks and it is a specialized company that will account for the decisions of the participants. The consultation will decide which of the two monuments will be erected in the Bloc and as the mayor recalled “there will not be a minimum participation to make the decision.” Once the result has been scrutinized, there will be a winning option. Only in the hypothetical case that there is a tie, it would be the municipal plenary that must decide on one of the two options presented.

Money and terms

The cost of the two monuments is not the same. The Pyramid has an initial budget of 45,800 euros and a further 10,000 for maintenance every five years. In the case of Alfa i Omega, the figure skyrockets to €153,500 and a further €20,000 in maintenance every five years.

Faced with the question of what people will vote for, the City Council will activate a credit modification in June to be able to start the drafting and bidding of the winning work. From La Pirámide, the information will be taken from the archives and from Alfa i Omega the original project by Bartolozzi is available. However, whatever the option chosen, materials that are more resistant to the sea and saltpeter will be sought. The idea is that the new sculpture will be placed in the Bloc throughout 2023.

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