Introduction to the Association of Friends of Angel’s Square (AAPA)
"Judicial Police (...) press release: yesterday, by the 16:00 hours the City Council of Oporto (...) communicated to the Police, based in Oporto, that on the night of 19th to the 20th [of December 2006], unknown people had stolen a bronze sculpture, representing a female figure, called "A Anja", by Master José Rodrigues, which was inside a small fountain bowl located in the Lisboa Square, in the city of Oporto. The matter was immediately referred to the brigade of works of art (...) that initiated the investigations, which continued this morning and of which resulted in the total clarification of the crime, with the identification of the perpetrators of the theft, the buyer of the stolen piece, and its retrieval. Following a chronological account we can say that the identified sculpture (...) was torn (...) by three individuals, drug addicts, whose regular whereabouts are located in the urban and abandoned structures, situated around the Lisboa Square. (...) Within the premises of the buyer of the art piece, we found the sculpture sectioned into fifteen pieces, more or less. (...) It should be noted that between the time of the theft/reception of the stolen goods and its complete destruction not more than six hours have occurred and that between the hour of the crime being notified and its recovery in Paredes not more than seven hours elapsed. It is a unique work of art, a bronze sculpture of about one and a half meters high and with a total weight of 345 kg, representing a winged female figure (...) of high artistic and patrimonial value, worth 200,000 Euros which was irremediably mutilated and damaged. (...)"
Soon after the facts, a group of citizens concerned with the tragedy of the theft creates the Association of Friends of Anjo’s Square (AAPA). Anjo (= angel) Square, why this name? A legend tells that Queen D. Mafalda, riding on a donkey, on the way to Guimarães, following her husband, D. Afonso Henriques, on horseback, had an accident. The donkey stumbled and Dona Mafalda fell. Before the fall of his wife, the king, worried, appealed to St. Michael-the-angel. The miracle was granted, and the queen suffered nothing. Our first king then ordered that a chapel is to be erected on the place in thanksgiving to the holy-angel. The chapel was demolished in the 18th century to give place to a street market, which retained its name: Anjo’s Market.
The market was demolished in the late 1950s. The place is then occupied by an informal car park. By the end of the 1970s the Local Council decides to build a Shopping Mall, which was completed in the early 1980s: the "Clérigos Shopping", ANJA’s home and homeland. The space becomes dilapidated and in 2006 the last store closes its doors. The ANJA is then abducted.
This project has been developed in collaboration with Carla Cruz