They are perhaps the most emblematic statues in Torrevieja and millions of visitors have been photographed with them over the years. La Bella Lola sits on her seat looking out to the sea on the Paseo de las Rocas, Juan Aparicio searching for her sailor husband to return. Meanwhile on the promenade of the dique de Levante her sister statue waves her husband off with her handkerchief.
The two statues have been part of the scenery for around fifteen years and the name Bella Lola has found itself associated with the wife left behind at port waiting for her husband to return. But now, in the year 2019, she wants a divorce. On the day before international women’s day, the Bella Lola statue could be seen on the dock, not waving her handkerchief, but divorce papers.
In a gesture of defiance at this image of a woman waiting forever, someone had placed in her hand a paper that asked for ‘Los papeles del divorcio’. The paper could be clearly seen bound to her metal handkerchief and must have raised a smile from those meeting the new, liberated Lola on 7th March.
Perhaps there is a message here too. In the Spanish online paper ‘Informacion’ it points out that if you look carefully at the statue the evidence of Lola’s vulnerability is evident. The green on her breasts and bottom has been eroded over the years not, they think, by the elements but by groping human hands. It is an interesting observation whatever you make of it.