Lion’s head

Lion’s head


12th c.

Sant Pere de Rodes (El Port de la Selva - Alt Empordà)

This marble lion’s head, the work of the Master of Cabestany from Sant Pere de Rodes, was found embedded in a wall of the Residencia de la Obra Sindical Educación y Descanso “Mariano Álvarez de Castro” in Llançà around March or April 1963. It was identified by Joan Sanz i Roca, surveyor of the National Artistic Heritage Defence Service (SDPAN) in Girona.

The Master of Cabestany is the name given to a 12th-century sculptor (or circle of sculptors), whose work has been identified in Catalonia, Navarra, France and Italy. Two capitals have been attributed to Sant Pere de Galligants. The portal of Sant Pere de Rodes, of which only a few fragments are preserved, is one of his/their most representative works.

The obligatory admission of the sculpture in the museum led to a long tug-of-war between the SDPAN, which came under the Directorate General of Fine Arts (represented by the commissioner of the 4th Zone, Carlos Cid Priego, and in Girona by Miquel Oliva i Prat), the Girona Provincial Government –involved by Miquel Oliva to exert more pressure– and the provincial delegate of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation, Juan Prades Batiste, a person with a long political resume, who withheld it and unjustifiably delayed its handing over.

Finally, the lion’s head was brought to the Archaeological Museum on 9 July 1963. In a carefully thought-out propaganda staging, Juan Prades Batiste handed it over to the president of the Provincial Government, Juan de Llobet Llavari, as depicted by Los Sitios in a cover photo published on the 14th.

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