More of 1,000 pieces irregular ceramic; nail 150 figures that represent different sports modalities; 100 meters long by 5 meters high, that is, 500 m² of surface. These are some of the figures that allow us to understand the magnitude of the mural ‘History of Olympism’of the artist Christopher Gabarronwhich in its day was presented as “the world’s largest sports theme”.

    This colossal work, inaugurated on May 21, 1991 due to the Barcelona Olympic Games 92was located on a wall side of the Olympic Baseball Stadium of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a city that in 1992 was Olympic sub-venue. However, in 2007the City Council of L’Hospitalet and the author’s Foundation reached an agreement to remove and restore the work and, since then, the mural ‘History of Olympism’ has remained forgotten in the deposit of the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation in Valladolid.

    From the City Council they point out that between 1991 and 2007 the mural suffered “an intense degradation, due to inclement weather and vandalism & rdquor ;. Given this situation, and to preserve the original work, “it was agreed that this restoration be carried out by the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation and supervised by the artist himself & rdquor ;, they continue from the hospitalense town hall.

    The wall was fixed 12 years ago and, since then, remains waiting for the City Council, owner of the work, to put available a new location to install it. From the town hall of L’Hospitalet they explain that, for a few months, they have been working to “find a suitable space to definitively locate the mural”. A task, they continue, “not easy given the dimensions of the work & rdquor;.

    16 years of degradation

    Initially, in 1991, it was planned that in the surroundings of the Estadi Olímpic de Beisbol -where the Municipal Soccer Camp of L’Hospitalet is now located- a pond would be built and a lighting system would be installed around the mural ‘History of the Olympism’, so as to revitalize the ‘Olympic block’, comprised between the streets Travessia Industrial, Feixa Llarga, the Virgen de Bellvitge avenue and the Residència street. Nevertheless, this project did not materialize.

    The writer, historian and resident of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat Irene Castillo explains that the original idea was to “give it a presence” into space, but what had to be a pond ended up as a site with parking functions. “Everyone who went there took a piece or painted it & rdquor ;, says Castillo, who, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Barcelona Olympic Games, has rescued on his blog the history of this mural.

    The Bellvitge Neighborhood Association also remember on their website as in 1998, seven years after his exhibition, There were already complaints about the “advanced state of degradation & rdquor; of the mural and how this work became a headache for the then mayor Celestino Corbacho. “The Gabarrón Foundation found out about the deplorable state of the mural and its unworthy location and, after a bitter row with the City Council of L’Hospitalet over the mural, agreed to take it to Valladolid”, explains Castillo.

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    Thus, on September 18, 2007, the Local Government Board of the City Council of L’Hospitalet approved the ‘History of Olympism mural recovery project’, which the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation itself had drawn up and, after that, the work was disassembled piece by piece and transferred to Valladolid.

    The restoration of the wall

    The restoration process It consisted of creating a new support with the same texture and relief as the original, tearing off the color film from the original and transferring it to the new support, in order to place it in another place. “A part of this work was carried out in the location of the mural and the restin the stores of the Foundation in Valladolid”, they comment from the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

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