When a fleeting moment becomes everlasting, it conserves all the intensity of that which made it valuable. Perhaps this was the thought of the sculptor from Bilbao Rafael Huerta
when he set about creating the sculpture in honour of the Bull Run of Pamplona.
The work freezes the running of the mozos being pursued by the bulls in an instant. It is a bold, balanced relation of power that hint at the anguish and the bravery that characterise the encierro.
The paradox of 'frozen dynamism'
is revealed before our eyes. It seems as if the bulls want to shake free of their bronze disguise to run through the streets of Pamplona
one more time behind the courageous runners before returning to their perpetual mould.
The Monument to the Running of the Bulls is an elegant cast bronze sculpture that stands in Avenida Roncesvalles and looks towards the emblematic Bull Ring of Pamplona.
The sculpture is an extension of the previous one, made by Rafael Huerta Celaya, a sculptor from Bilbao, in 1994. The present structure is a harmonious composition, eleven metres long and four wide, which the sculptor has created with great quality.
It is an impressive monument that celebrates the mythical Bull Run of Pamplona. It represents the moment of greatest tension for the runners with great effect, when they can sense the breath of the bulls behind them. Eleven young men try to lead the herd of 6 fighting bulls and 3 castrated bulls along the route at great speed.
The power of the runners is very well portrayed. Some of them, fallen to the ground, hope that they will not be run over by the bulls that pass them. Rafael Huerta has achieved a great sense of balance and movement in his sculpture through offsetting volumes to either side of the points where the runners put their feet on the ground.
Walk right round the sculpture to enjoy it completely. The runners transmit the same emotions that are seen every morning of the fiesta of San Fermín through their poses and gestures. Their anguish and courage, and the power of the bulls, reflect the intensity of the event and the scene captivates the onlooker through its beauty.
Rafael Huerta, who has had close links with Pamplona since he first visited the city many years ago, hopes that people who see the monument can capture the feeling he had when he first saw the Bull Run, which he considers as an inspiration for both aesthetic reasons and the opportunity to capture a wide range of emotions.
The Bull Run is the event at the heart of the Sanfermines and makes the fiesta an unimaginable spectacle in any other part of the world. It was born of a need: to get the bulls from the outskirts of the city into the bullring, and from the custom created by the mozos of jumping in front of them and running before their horns, the result was that the encierro was included in the programme of the fiesta.
It takes place from July 7th to 14th and starts in the small corral in Cuesta de Santo Domingo when the clock of the church of San Cernin strikes eight o'clock in the morning. It is the only time of the day when the fiesta holds it breath. The tension spreads through the streets minutes before the bulls start running.
Two rockets are fired and the bulls charge out of the corral to run 825 metres behind the mozos. On average it takes between three and four minutes, although the run is sometimes delayed if one (or more) of the bulls gets left behind. The speed and chaos of the bull run culminates in a heart-stopping arrival in the bullring. The fiesta carries on afterwards, the tension now gone.