Legatum: A Sculpture Inviting Questions (Santiago de Chile)

Two years ago, the Universidad de Los Andes and the Artespacio gallery invited six Chilean sculptors to participate in the contest “Illuminating Daily Life.” The challenge was to interpret the message of the founder of Opus Dei with the language of contemporary art.

The winning project is a sculpture composed of 47 aligned steel sheets by artist María Angélica Echavarri. Installed in February of this year, it is part of the Cultural Route of the university campus, a set of eight sculptures that seeks to foster an environment conducive to intellectual creativity, imagination and critical thinking.

“The 47 sheets of stainless steel,” María Angélica Echavarri said, “represent the years from the time St. Josemaría founded Opus Dei until he died. This material is modern; it reflects and speaks of flight and dance. The wings enable a person to fly, to go beyond, to that other dimension which, for me, is God. And as they increase in size, they also speak to us of our constant growth, both in the development of the university and in our own spiritual life. These wings also form a tunnel, but not without an exit, and are transparent, because without transparency we cannot go far in life.”

At a ceremony to present the new sculpture in April, on the occasion of its blessing by the regional vicar of Opus Dei, Alvaro Palacios, the rector of the university, José Antonio Guzmán, and a student, Juan Carlos Díaz, a civil engineering student and head of the UANDES Alumni Pastoral, took the floor. “We are not here at the university just passing through,” said Juan Carlos Díaz, referring to the invitation to transcendence that the sculpture contains. “We are not here just to pass the time; we are here with an underlying purpose that each of us needs to discover at the university.”

Romana, n. 77, July-December 2023, p. 212-213.

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