"A monument to the devil"
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FROM AN AWAKENED! EMPLOYEE IN SPAIN
IN MADRID there is an extraordinary statue. If you look only fleetingly, you probably won't be surprised about its appearance and name: "The fallen angel". On closer inspection, however, it is noticeable that no one other than Satan, the devil, has been commemorated here.
Whoever visits Catholic Spain expects to see statues of angels or "saints", but not a monument to the ruler of demons. Nevertheless, Ricardo Bellver, a Spanish sculptor of the 19th century, decided to break with tradition. He knew the epic The Paradise Lost by John Milton, which describes how Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride and rebellion. In 1874 Bellver completed a statue commemorating this dramatic fall.
Bellver did not depict the devil as a horned animal figure, as was common practice. By contrast, he imagined that the ruler of demons, when he was cast out of heaven, was a beautiful but corrupt angel (Revelation 12:9). This representation is much closer to what the Bible says.*
What did the people of Madrid think of such a statue? According to an art historian, many were outraged by the plan to erect a statue of Satan. However, the Spanish government funded the project and the statue received two awards for artistic merit, one in Madrid and the other at the 1878 World's Fair in Paris. Art triumphed over tradition when the impressive bronze statue was erected in 1879 in the Retiropark.
In today's secular society, hardly anyone will turn up their nose at a statue of Satan. María Isabel Gea even claims in her work Curiosidades y Anécdotas de Madrid: "The city of Madrid should be proud to be the only city in the world to have even set a monument to the devil. Be that as it may, out of the thousands that flock to the Retiropark every Sunday, only a few appreciate the statue of a look.
Likewise, few today are aware that Satan is the invisible author of many of the problems of our world (Revelation 12:12). However, the clear biblical references to the devil leave Bible scholars in no doubt about his existence or influence. Jesus resisted his brazen temptations. (John 8:44; Matthew 4:1-11) He called this evil spirit not only a "liar" and a "father of lies," but also "a murderer who was not established in the truth.
At a time when the world is going through a worse time than ever before, it is imperative to resist the influence of this angry fallen angel (James 4:7)*As long as it is necessary, it is a comfort to truth and justice-loving people that Satan's expulsion from heaven was only the prelude to his imminent defeat, in which Christ will 'break off the works of the devil' (1 John 3:8).
Another feature of this statue is a snake that winds around Satan's body; but this is not from the Bible. Obviously Bellver was inspired by the sculpture of Laocoon that he had seen in Rome - according to the legend a Trojan prince who was killed by two snakes together with his sons.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)