Tuesday, August 9

The submerged library that Félix Romeo devised as a protest against the Lechago reservoir comes true

Ten years after the death of the writer Félix Romeo, a chest full of books is going to submerge this Saturday in the waters of the Lechago reservoir. It is the submerged library that he raised as a protest against the flooding of the town of Lechago due to the construction of a reservoir, which finally did not materialize because it was not flooded since the expected level of the reservoir was reduced.

Romeo’s father and all the paternal family of Romeo are from Lechago and that is why he proposed this action, which led to the creation of a library in this town that bears his name and is located in the multipurpose building of this district that is part of the term Teruel municipality of Calamocha. Félix Romeo died on September 7, 2011 and the local library was inaugurated on August 21, 2012. Now, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death, this action will be carried out as a tribute to the writer.

One of the members of the association and coordinator of this initiative, Agustín Martín, explains that it will consist of submerging in the Lechago reservoir, with the collaboration of firefighters from the Teruel County Council, a kind of chest, although shaped like a sphere or cylindrical, which will contain some 130 books, as well as other elements related to culture, such as DVDs, paintings and drawings.

The member of the association has specified that there is no evidence that there has been any library of this type throughout history. The initiative arose last January and between April and May letters have been sent to one or two hundred friends and people close to Romeo, who have sent their contribution by mail to the president of the Friends of Lechago Association, María Jesús Soriano , who has compiled and cataloged this material.

When the works are introduced into the reservoir, the complete list of participants in this action will be announced, although Martín has announced that the actors Antonio Resines and José Sacristán, the editor Jorge Herralde, from Anagrama, or the writers have contributed books. Irene Vallejo and Luz Gabás. Other cultural personalities that have joined the initiative have been Antón Castro, Miguel Mena, Pepe Melero and Luis Alegre, in addition to the residents of Lechago. Painters José Luis Cano, Pepe Cerdá and Jorge Garay have also sent their own works.

Martín recalled that Félix Romeo, in addition to being a writer, was a literary critic and director of the culture program ‘La Mandragora’, a period in which he lived in the Madrid Student Residence, where “he had many contacts with people from culture, literature , the cinema and the music “, has related.

He has also commented that initially they had planned to collect between 40 or 50 works, “but we have tripled”, with volumes “of all kinds”, both from close friends, as well as from his admirers and followers. It has gone from the initial idea of ​​collecting contributions from a smaller group, to “open it to anyone who has wanted to participate,” he added.

It is planned to install, later, in the area, a panel that explains what the Submerged Library consists of and who is part of it, as well as the works included and the point where it will be deposited within the reservoir.

Chest full of books and culture

Regarding the kind of chest that will be introduced into the swamp, it is being made by the sculptor José Azul, who called it ‘Love Bomb for Felix’ because of its spherical shape and because inside “the explosive charge is books, culture, the homage of friends and admirers of the writer “, has specified Agustín Martín.

The act in which you will immerse yourself will take place at 5:00 p.m. and is part of the activities programmed in the cultural week of Lechago. The sculptor himself, the singer-songwriter Ángel Petisme, the writer, journalist and professor at the University of Zaragoza Luis Alegre, a native of Lechago, and the filmmaker Jonás Trueba, as well as representatives of the association and the Calamocha City Council will be present. .

It will be carried out some 300 meters upstream from the dam, from the access ramp to the reservoir located in the old Palmero ravine, with direct access from the A-2512 road.

Firefighters from the DPT will navigate with a zodiac boat to the center of the reservoir, where they will drop this Submerged Library, which will be hermetically sealed. Previously, the works will have been introduced, as well as the newspapers of the day “so that, in the future, when it is taken out of the swamp, it will serve as a time capsule,” Martín explained. Likewise, there will be a review of all the books it contains.