Not long to go ...
Pamplona City Hall has passed a by-law to surround the popular monument to the running of the bulls with a hedge of box-plant which will prevent access to the monument by the public. According to a statement from Javier López, Councilor for Projects and Urban Conservation, the main reason for this initiative is to protect the sculpture from any further deterioration. Cracks have already appeared on two of the hind legs of one of the bell-oxen and one of the bull's legs. López points out that "this sculpture was not made to withstand a lot of weight and it was conceived to rest on a light support in order to better reflect the essence of the running of the bulls".
José Ignacio Alfonso, projects manager, explained that the option of surrounding the monument with a hedge means that no direct contact with the monument itself is necessary and furthermore it is a more functional solution than other proposals, such as the idea of installing fencing around the monument. Work will begin before the end of the year and it will not take long to complete the hedge as the box plant will be set up when it has already grown. The total cost will come to some 30.000 euro. A plaque in stainless steel with the title "Encierro" (Running of the bulls) will be placed in front of the hedge along with the names of the sponsors of the monument (CAN-Banca Cívica). On being questioned by several journalists about the possibility of imposing fines on those citizens who continue to climb up on the monument, the councilor declined to make any comment.
This monument was set up in February, 2007 and it immediately became popular with both visitors and local people as a popular background for photos. They will now have to resign themselves to taking photos from behind the hedge. Moreover, the monument had earlier hit the news headlines when the sculptor first inserted some faces of some well-known local politicians on the figures. It also suffered an attack of Yarn Bombing, when the tails of some of the bulls had to be repaired after coming apart from the figures.