Monuments of Dr. Jose P. Rizal Around the World

Topics: José Rizal, Philippines, Manila Pages: 16 (5530 words) Published: February 10, 2012
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Sta. Mesa, Manila
College of Business

As a partial fulfilment of the requirements of the subject
HIST 1023
Buhay, Mga Gawain at Sinulat ni Rizal

Monuments of Dr. Jose P. Rizal Around the World

Rizal Park (Luneta Park), Manila, Philippines
Description: 12.7 m bronze and unpolished granite sculpture and obelisk. On one side of the Rizal Monument is a marble plaque marking the exact spot where the hero met his death by firing squad and on the other side is one of his poems. The central bronze figure is of Dr Rizal. The bronze figures around the sculpture were cast in Switzerland. Dr Rizal's remains are buried within the monument. Inscription: I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves – for his country and for others dear to him. "To the memory of Jose Rizal, patriot and martyr, executed at Bagumbayan Field December thirtieth 1896, this monument is dedicated by the people of the Philippine Islands". Of all the historical landmarks in the Philippines, the Rizal monument in Luneta easily stands out as the most recognizable and most photographed. It is thus an irony that very few Filipinos know the story behind the building of this important national memorial, and how, more than a century ago, some of the world’s leading sculptors participated in an international contest to design and build it. Built by virtue of the United States Philippine Commission Act No. 243, dated September 28, 1901, the Rizal monument was approved by no less than United States President Theodore Roosevelt. The act stipulated the allocation of land in the Luneta to build the memorial, near where Rizal fell when he was executed by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896. It also specified that the monument bear the statue of Rizal, as well as serve as the final resting place of his remains. To fund the project, a Rizal committee was set up to raise funds from public solicitations. The committee—whose members included Paciano Rizal (Rizal’s brother), and Tagalog novelist Pascual Poblete–was also tasked to hold a design contest for the future monument. In 1905, when the committee gathered enough funds, it announced the art competition. Local and foreign sculptors were invited to participate, with the year 1907 as the deadline of submission. It was a reasonable period of time to conceptualize and design a scale model for the future Rizal national monument. The grand prize winner would be awarded a cash prize of ₱5,000, as well as the ₱100,000 - contract to build the monument. It was a huge sum during that time and thus many sculptors, including some of the best in Europe, participated. Forty artists submitted their bozetos (scale models) in 1907. From these forty, ten bozetos made it to the finals. Some of the bozetos were titled “Noli Me Tangere” (Rizal’s first novel), “Motto Stella” (Guiding Star), “1906”, “Al Martir de Bagumbayan”, “Eripitur Persona Manet Res”, “F.F”, “Victoria”, and “Maria Clara.” The bozetos were exhibited in the Marble Hall of the Ayuntamiento in Intramuros. The judges, all non-artists, were headed by then American Governor of the Philippines Frank Smith. Extant photographs of the exhibit revealed the superior qualities of the finalists. Most were meticulously made in the Art Nouveau style that was very popular at that time. After thorough deliberation, the jury reached a decision. They awarded the ₱5,000-grand prize to bozeto No. 21 entitled “Al Martir de Bagumbayan” designed by the famous Italian sculptor Carlo Nicoli of Carrara, Italy. The jury gave the second prize to bozeto No. 9 entitled “Motto Stella” by the Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling. Kissling received a ₱2,000 cash prize.

As the first prize winner, Carlo Nicoli was supposed to have been awarded the contract to build the monument in the...
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