April 4, 2010

GO ALL THE WAY:

Modern Quixote on a mission from God (Lucy Bannerman, 4/05/10, The Times)

FOR the first 40 years no one seemed to notice the man collecting bricks.

Almost invisibly, the scrap material mounted on a patch of land outside Madrid -- a pile of crooked bricks, a tangle of steel wire -- until, eventually, something remarkable began to take form.

Justo Gallego Martinez was building a cathedral. And he was building it by himself.

Don Justo, as he is referred to, has no architecture training and, now aged 85, little time left to complete his surreal and spiralling magnum opus. What he does have is blind faith, a self-sacrificing desire to honour the Virgin Mary, and a staggering disregard for health and safety regulations.

As his Cathedral for Our Lady of the Pillar nears completion, its bold, blue cupola dominating the skyline of the surrounding suburbs, the man known as El Loco is finally being taken seriously.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2010 11:00 AM
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