HOMAGE TO ADMIRAL PASCUAL CERVERA AND TOPETE IN MEDINA SIDONIA, HIS HOMETOWN
Medina Sidonia is a city in the province of Cadiz, belonging to the region of La Janda. The city is probably better known for the Finca La Cantora –owned by famous folk singer Isabel Pantoja- than for being the birthplace of Admiral Pascual Cervera and Topete. What's more, I have no doubts about that.
Pascual Cervera and the sailors of his squadron, heroes of that 19th century conflict, so forgotten and lost in the night of times, which is the war of Cuba, have received a heartfelt homage by their countrymen in this town of Cadiz, within the framework of the White Nights, an event that also featured an exhibition of underwater painting and photography that depicted the work of Spanish underwater painter Alfonso Cruz, together with the art of Cuban fine artist Reynaldo Villamil and Cuban photographer Jesús Vicente González Díaz.
The mayor of Medina Sidonia and the Admiral's greatgrandson, Pascual Cervera de la Chica, presided over the ceremony. Likewise, another great-grandson of the Admiral's attending the presentation, Ángel Luis Cervera Fantoni, delivered a lecture dedicated to the memory of the Spanish hero and the naval battle of Santiago de Cuba, which took place on July 3, 1898.
The large turnout enjoyed an authentic “dive into history”, an approach to the famous Admiral, as well as a closer look at the circumstances of those war episodes that today serve as a twinning between the peoples of Cuba and Spain, something that gives tremendous value to such terms so reviled in these times as homeland and patriotism.
This exhibition, which teed off last year at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, hopefully continues its journey through other Spanish, European, Cuban and American locations, to serve as a link that connects Biodiversity, Culture, Underwater Heritage and History, in addition to serving as a motivating element of the collective conscience –which is badly needed- with the intention of whetting citizenship's interest in these fundamental issues for the protection of nature and the spread of a history that we share.
Cuba has gone the extra mile to preserve the wrecks of Almirante Cervera’s sunken squadron, now considered National Heritage