Jose Marti’s Monument and its history
This monument’s history starts with a contest of 1943 in order to select the project of what it would be the Civic Square, nowadays the Revolution Square. In the event, the awarded project was the one presented by the architect Aquiles Maza and sculptor Juan Jose Sicre among all submitted. The second place went to the architects Evelio Govantes and Felix Cabarrocas and the third prize the one of architects and engineers Enrique Luis Varela, Labatut Juan Raul Otero and Manuel Tapia Ruano and sculptor Alexander Sambugnac. As the winning monument to be undertaken was Maza and Sicre`s, the second project, the one of Govantes and Cabarrocas, was suggested – due to its functionality – to be built as National Library. The third prize belonging to Varela, was decided to be adapted as a monument to Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. Years went by and in 1952, on his return to power after the coup d´etat; Batista assured that everything would be done as established in the 1943 contest. Without any explanation, six weeks after, he decided to erect Varela´s project, whom he had appointed as Public Works Minister. With this decision Maza´s right was violated, because the competition rules established the mandatory implementation of the project highlighted with the first prize. That violation caused the protest of the Architects College in defense of Maza and Sicre, but Sicre accepted to sculpt the statue of the Apostle, which was added to the Varela´s project that was not in the original and is currently in the Square.
Urban context of the Jose Marti’s Monument
Jose Marti’s Monument is located on a gentle hill between the Square itself and the Justice Palace, Revolution Palace nowadays. The square stood as the main political and administrative center of the Republic. The headquarters of some ministries are located around as well as the buildings of National Theatre and the José Martí National Library.