Dirección General de Patrimonio Cultural del Ayuntamiento de Madrid
The idea of dedicating a monument to praise and honour the figure of Captain-General Arsenio Martínez de Campos y Antón arose in 1888, at the proposal of Professors Pedro Antonio Berenguer and José Ibáñez Martín, of the General Military Academy, although it could not be started until the announcement of the bid called for that purpose by a commission chaired by the Marquis of Cabriñana. The statue was made by popular subscription, with the participation of the Royal Family, the Government and the Army, which contributed the twenty-one tons of bronze cast in the Barcelona Masriera workshop, in accordance with the project of the winning artist of the bid, Mariano Benlliure, who received 133,000 pesetas and the Grand Cross of Military Merit for the work. It was inaugurated with King Alfonso XIII in attendance on January 28, 1907 on this site in the Retiro, where the so-called Pond of the Swans stood, although the square around it would be remodeled and embellished after the Civil War, when the metal railing was replaced and the area surrounding it landscaped with a sheet of water.
© Antonello Dellanotte
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