Pasifae – The Copper Bull at Vilanova i la Geltru, Catalunya

Pasifae and her lover on the beach at Vilanova i la Geltru, Catalunya


The history of Pasifae is an interesting one and the statue on the beach at Vilanova i la Geltru, Catalunya, created by Òscar Estruga and hewn from three tons of copper tells the bestial story in a visually impressive way.

PASIFAE was the wife of King Minos and when Poseidon, god of the sea sent a white bull for sacrifice at the hands of Minos, the king of Crete refused. In his anger Poseidon made Pasifae fall in love with the bull.

Unable to contain her lust for the white bull, Pasifae ordered Daedelus to build a wooden cow that she could hide inside and indulge in carnal acts with the beast.

The story turns sour after that. The pair conceived a child; half man, half bull called the Minotaur. The beast terrorised the people of the Mediterranean region until his untiemly death at the hands of Theseus.

Pasifae bares her intimacy to the world in the sculpture at Vilanova i la Geltru

Pasifae bares her intimacy to the world in the sculpture at Vilanova i la Geltru.

The Pasifae statue at Vilanova i la Geltru is a very graphic rendition of the story; the naked queen inside the bull rendered in all her actual human detail.

It now provides a focal point for visitors and is an assertion by the Catalan province to promote a healthy artistic representation of the region.

Ironically most frequenters are fishermen who sit all day and night on the rocks at the base of Pasifae. Many visitors to the town actually miss the statue as it is at the far southern end of the beach and can be difficult to spot on busy days.

Quite why a slice of Greek history has been immortalised on a Spanish beach is uncertain, but Pasifae and her lover do make a great photo opportunity and give Vilanova i la Geltru a unique talking point.

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