A NEW exhibition highlights some of the most important chapters in the history of Almeria.
Staged at Vera’s Victoria convent, ‘Momentos Estelares en la Historia de Almeria’ features a series of works by illustrator Emilio Sanchez, each capturing one of the key periods of the province’s past.
Subjects range from the appearance of the Neanderthals in the Zajara cave in Cuevas del Almanzora to Almeria today as a tourist destination and centre of the marble and agro-food industries. In-between are illustrations serving as reminders of times like that of the Romans, the founding of Almeria city by Abderrahman III, the Christian Reconquest and the expulsion of the Moors and incursions by pirates. There are also illustrations representing the mining boom, the period of widescale emigration, the arrival of the railway, the bombing by German forces during the Civil War, Almeria’s role in the cinema industry and the establishment of the University of Almeria.
There are specific nods to Vera’s past too. One is an illustration relating to the 1518 earthquake, which was inspired by survivors’ accounts and by the findings from and current form of the Espiritu Santo hall on which the old town was located before the natural disaster.
Accompanying the exhibition is a catalogue of Sanchez’s 55 works, each accompanied by a text written by a different expert in fields including science, politics, religion and business.
The coordinator and commissioner of the exhibition, Juan Grima, commented that it enabled all Almerians, whether born in the province or not, to acquire an understanding of the regional culture and values.
Doing the honours of officially inaugurating the exhibition on Thursday was Vera Culture councillor Maria Manula Caparros, together with Juan Grima and the artist himself, who moved to the province when he retired after many years working in Hamburg’s Archaeological Museum
The Culture councillor commented particularly on how the works captured the details of the past, pointing out the educational value of the illustrations. It is, she said, an exhibition which can be enjoyed by young and old alike.
She revealed there were plans to organise visits by local schools “so that our young people can find out what are the symbols of our identity and learn to defend and love what is ours, and to respect and care for our rich heritage.”
The exhibition runs until the end of this month. Public opening hours are 9.30am to 1.30pm and 5-8pm Monday to Friday and from 11am to 1.30pm on Saturdays.