Creepy statue of drowning girl sparks alarm in Spain

Creepy statue of drowning girl sparks alarm in Spain after Bilbao authorities placed the artwork in tidal waters during the middle of the night

  • The disturbing creation appeared unannounced in the River Nervion last week
  • It was made by Mexican artist Ruben Orozco and rises and falls with the tide
  • It was made as part of a campaign to encourage debates around sustainability
  • A disturbing statue of a young girl drowning has sparked concern since it appeared unannounced in a Bilbao river last week.  

    Mexican hyperrealist artist Ruben Orozco created the enigmatic figure, entitled ‘Bihar’ (‘Tomorrow’ in Basque) for a campaign by the BBK Foundation – the charitable arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank – to encourage debate around sustainability.

    The goal is for people to be aware that ‘their actions can sink us or keep us afloat’, the artist told Spanish news website Nius.

    A disturbing statue of a young girl drowning has sparked concern since it appeared unannounced in a Bilbao river last week

    A disturbing statue of a young girl drowning has sparked concern since it appeared unannounced in a Bilbao river last week

    Mexican hyperrealist artist Ruben Orozco created the enigmatic figure, entitled 'Bihar' ('Tomorrow' in Basque)

    Mexican hyperrealist artist Ruben Orozco created the enigmatic figure, entitled ‘Bihar’ (‘Tomorrow’ in Basque)

    It was made for a campaign by the BBK Foundation - the charitable arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank - to encourage debate around sustainability

    It was made for a campaign by the BBK Foundation – the charitable arm of Spanish lender Kutxabank – to encourage debate around sustainability

    As the tides of the River Nervion rise and fall, the 120kg fibreglass figure is submerged and uncovered each day, which BBK said was a reflection on what could happen ‘if we continue to bet on unsustainable models’ such as those that contribute to climate change.

    Bilbao residents awoke to the installation last Thursday after it was taken by boat and lowered into the river near the city centre at the dead of night.








    ‘At first it gave me a feeling of stress, when more of the face was out of the water, but now to me she communicates sadness, a lot of sadness,’ said visitor Triana Gil.

    ‘She doesn’t even look worried, it’s as if she is letting herself drown.’

    The goal is for people to be aware that 'their actions can sink us or keep us afloat', the artist told Spanish news website Nius

    The goal is for people to be aware that ‘their actions can sink us or keep us afloat’, the artist told Spanish news website Nius

    As the tides rise and fall, the 120kg fibreglass figure is submerged and uncovered each day

    As the tides rise and fall, the 120kg fibreglass figure is submerged and uncovered each day

    Another onlooker, who gave her name as Maria, initially thought the sculpture was a memorial to a tragic past event.

    ‘I learnt today that’s not what it’s about, but I think people can each give their own meaning to it,’ she said.

    ‘Bihar’ is not the first Orozco work to surprise and move Bilbao.

    Two years ago his life-size statue of a lone woman sitting on a park bench, ‘Invisible Soledad,’ sparked a debate about the isolated lives of the elderly.

    BBK said it was a reflection on what could happen 'if we continue to bet on unsustainable models' such as those that contribute to climate change

    BBK said it was a reflection on what could happen ‘if we continue to bet on unsustainable models’ such as those that contribute to climate change

    Bilbao residents awoke to the installation last Thursday after it was taken by boat and lowered into the river near the city centre at the dead of night

    Bilbao residents awoke to the installation last Thursday after it was taken by boat and lowered into the river near the city centre at the dead of night

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