Sculptor from Rugby heads community art project to remember men killed at sea

Rob at work.
Rob at work.

A sculptor from Rugby is getting the community behind a new project to remember at least 45 man who were killed when their ship was torpedoed off the coast of Catalonia.

Rob MacDonald said the memorial is a chance for everyone to take part in a slice of history.

The men were killed on May 30, 1937, when their ship, the Ciudad de Barcelona, was targeted by a submarine.

They were among 300 members of the International Brigades heading to Spain to fight for the Republican cause against Spain’s fascist-led Nationalist forces.

Rob, who now lives in Spain, said the sculpted figures will be identical in form, representing “the unity of the struggle of the brigadiers, but each will have individual carved features thus expressing the diversity of us all”.

The project, which Rob hopes will be completed by the end of next May, to mark the 82nd anniversary of the sinking, will be a collaborative effort. Public workshops will encourage people to help carve the sculpture, which will be displayed in a small park on the beach at Malgrat de Mar. So far more than €13,500 has been raised via a crowdfunding campaign towards the estimated €20,000 costs of the project.

“This is a memorial and a project for everybody,” Rob said. “That’s why I don’t want to go into my workshop, tap away and present something. I want people to say ‘I helped make that, that’s my history’.”

For more information visit https://solidaritypark.com/