Nou Campanar: The Monuments of Fallas 2009

1st Place: ‘Esta falla … tiene mucha tela

For the 6th year in a row, Nou Campanar walks off with the trophy for a mammoth, expensive monument that other commissions just weren’t able to match in scale. Even those who didn’t especially appreciate the aesthetic of this year’s monument, inspired by the world of fashion, have to admire the willingness of Nou Campanar to try something new.


And certainly, this monument was something new. For those accustomed to the bizarre, cartoony creations that are normally synonymous with Fallas, the sleek and fashionable characters of Nou Campanar must have come as a shock. It was wonderfully executed — the artistry on display in the towering fashion models can’t fail to impress.


We especially loved the lady holding out a piece of fabric, which seemed to flow gracefully onto the floor. An amazing piece of work for such a gigantic statue. The monument was the most expensive of all time, costing over €900,000. That’s over a million dollars! For a monument that stands for 4 days before being set aflame. Unbelievable — if I were a homeless person, looking for a job or a meal on the streets of Valencia, I think I would lose it.


While there was much to admire and be astounded by, this monument ultimately left us cold. We felt a bit disillusioned when it was pronounced champion. This was one of the few Fallas that didn’t illicit laughter during our visit, so we felt as though the jury was rewarding Nou Campanar’s willingness to spend big. Still, they were also rewarding innovation, and Nou Campanar certainly deserves to be recognized for that.

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