Plaza del Pilar may have finished in 2nd place, but this tremendous monument was undoubtedly the people’s champion. Over and over, we heard people say things like “I can’t believe Pilar didn’t win”, “Obvious that Pilar deserved it”, “A disgrace”.
And we agree wholeheartedly. In our minds, there is no doubt that Pilar put together by far the most magnificent monument of 2009 — outclassing the champion in scope, style, ambition, humor, originality and theme. If you managed to squeeze into the tiny and always densely-packed area of the Plaza del Pilar, you were guaranteed to be astounded.
“A night at the opera” was executed to perfection by artist José Lafarga, who was marking his debut in the Sección Especial. A huge Phantom of the Opera was the most prominent piece, but there was so much more… frisky antics in orchestra seats, a podium and cello with amazingly lifelike wood-work detail, flamenco dancers, funny horses, and a mock wedding with the leaders of the world celebrating (who else?) Obama. There was almost too much to see.
It’s a shame that Plaza del Pilar didn’t win because, to this foreigner’s eyes, it captured to perfection everything Fallas monuments should aspire to. Maybe next year.