Thursday, 4 August 2016

2016 - The Project Two Roses for Peace

 Photo taken by the author at the goldsmith workshop

THE PROJECT TWO ROSES FOR PEACE                                          

On Saturday July 23 of this year I was invited by Juan Carlos Pallarols 2,4,9 and Professor Julián Bernatene to the former goldsmith workshop where I was summoned about the Project of Two Roses for Peace. There were war veterans, families of fallen in Malvinas and South Atlantic islands and news media.
The Pallarols Workshop 
Juan Carlos Pallarols 73, was born in Banfield,  the son of Higinia Aboy and Carlos Pallarols Cuni renowned Catalan silversmith like his grandfather and several predecessors.

Engraved marble plaque on the front of Juan Carlos Pallarols´ workshop
at Defense 1094 street.  
(Photo taken by author)
The Pallarols workshop already existed in 1750. What happened in 1750? Spain had 9,300,000 inhabitants, towered in Barcelona were the names of the mayors Don Manuel de Delas i Casanovas (Buen Retiro, July 9, 1750) and Don Jacint Tudo (San Lorenzo, September 8, 1750), the church of Saint Augustine (in Catalan: Església de Sant Agusti) located in the neighborhood of El Raval was inaugurated.  On January 13, 1750 the Treaty of Madrid was signed between Ferdinand VI of Spain and John V of Portugal to define the boundaries between their respective colonies in South America. This document gave rise to the Guarani War (1754-1756). In U.S.A. a year earlier Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod.
Barcelona coat of arms  

Barcelona ´s coat of arms has its origins in the Middle Ages and first appears in the same layout as the current one, in 1329.
In Britain reigned King George II of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg (in Hannover), Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Duke of Bremen and Prince of Verden. He was the second ruler of the House of Hanover and the last British monarch who personally led his troops in a battle (in Dettingen in 1743). He also was the last English sovereign in being born outside Britain.   
According to Pallarols: The father of my great great grandfather  was dedicated to the silversmith. In those early days the trade was recorded by oral transmission. We have more records from my great-grandfather because he left written testimonies. 6

My great-grandfather's workshop in Barcelona (Spain) was in the old Calle de las Carretas and Calle Alta de San Pedro streets. In San Telmo (Buenos Aires) this house is opposite to the Old Plaza de las Carretas square, that is the high corner of San Pedro and the church is San Pedro Telmo. Two hundred years later I opened a workshop in the same name of address where my dad was born, at the High Street of San Pedro 12, but with the Atlantic ocean amidst 
Pallarols tells that his predecessors, although they knew the craft of goldsmithing, worked in whatever they could. And, in the twentieth century, at a time when famine swept much of Europe, they decided to cross the Atlantic

The arrival of the Pallarols family

According to Juan Carlos Pallarols, his great great grandfather arrived to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1804 and took part in the combats during the British Invasions (1806 and 1807). (Personal communication from Julián Bernatene) The Pallarols Workshop in Argentina was established in 1909, year in which the Tragic Week of Barcelona took place. 
Disembarkation of immigrants in Buenos Aires (1909 )

The Tragic Week is a name given to  the events which took place in Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia between July 26 and August 2, 1909. The trigger for these violent actions was the decree of Prime Minister Antonio Maura to send reserve troops to the unstable Spanish possessions in Morocco. Most of those reservists were parents of the working classes. The unions called for a general strike.
Juan Carlos's grandfather settled with his first workshop in Guaira street, near the River Plate stadium and later in Lomas de Zamora, where he learned to love the job. 6
The goldsmith told us the following anecdote . ¨Once when he was a boy in Buenos Aires he watched a Spanish family just arriving from a ship. "They saw on the table a heaping breadbasket and they could not believe all that bread could  be eaten in a day. And they cried as they could not believe either that in this country people could afford having so much bread."
Pallarols account that all came with high expectations but little knowledge of what they would find. "My maternal grandmother came to the country 15 years after the death of his parents. She was told to go to the Rivadavia street because there she would meet his brothers, thinking that Buenos Aires was a small village. When she arrived she had to sleep a couple days on the street until she found them. After all they did not fared badly as they ended up owning the Tortoni ". 6

The works of Juan Carlos Pallarols
I learned the Colombian, Mexican, Ecuadorian and Peruvian silversmithing, I was nurtured with all that information. Today with a greater or lesser degree all Argentine artisans are the mix of all this flow of energy and cultures which is known as Argentina's River Plate or Creole silverwork, which is neither completely indigenous or European. It is the product of a 200 years melting pot. Argentina´s silversmiths is well known worldwide. 6

Pallarols has made the batons of several Argentine presidents. Since the presidency of Raul Alfonsin presidential canes are made with Creole and hardwood urunday which is endowed with an excellent grain, brightness and incorruptible wood the preferred metal being silver. According to the presidential baton made in 1983, Juan Carlos Pallarols performs the preparation of the Argentine Presidential Staff each December 10 prior to the start of a democratic government . 
During the papacy of Benedict XVI  the Holy See requested a papal chalice, for Pope Francisco, Juan Carlos Pallarols made the new cup, 1/4 L capacity, smooth in his glass, with a "knot" in the foot. It was signed by more than fifteen million people. It was impressed with a 4 gr. light hammer on a sealing varnish. 
In 2014 Pallarols was entrusted to make 6.50 m tall silver color sculptures made with an special aircraft alloy .Such sculptures are pinnacled in the 135 m towers  the famous Basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Pallarols has among its grand projects to make a sculpture of a giant statue of Jesus Christ (45 m) on the banks of the Parana River in Entre Rios province.

The cultural impact

The Deliberative Council of the city of Buenos Aires appointed Pallarols as Distinguished Citizen in 1996. He participated in many national and international exhibitions, highlighting his participation in the Argentine Pavilion at the Paris Exposition (1984), Seville (1992), "Juan Carlos Pallarols , Goldsmith "(Paris, 1997)", "Gala Evening in Tribute to Argentina Culture" organized by the Metropolitan Opera of New York (1998), and under the Centenary of friendly relations between Japan and Argentina (Tokyo, 1998). He has put his knowledge to the service of Creole traditions, mainly through his participation at the exhibition of Creole Silverware in Mar del Plata (1999) and Saddle show at the Rural Exhibition (Buenos Aires, 2001).
He has presented a series of special chapters that explore the changes that gold produced in humanity issued by The History Channel. 9
Juan Carlos Pallarols with a companion in Scottish costume

The Project Two Roses for Peace

Although the family of this illustrious silversmith did not suffer the consequences of Malvinas, he said, he did suffer the consequences of the First World War and the Spanish Civil War, so he knows well the grief of those who carry this part of history etched in their hearts. 12
"Art is quite healing," says Pallarols in his studio in San Telmo. "As an Argentine I suffered a lot with the war, all I  rescue are the  ladies weaving scarves for our soldiers." 1

The Argentine Army donated a shell part of which was used to make bronze sheets later transformed into cranes. Pallarols remembered Sadako Sasaki the girl of the Thousand Cranes,who as a cause of the Hiroshima bomb contracted leukemia and died at age 12.
Japanese children dedicate a tribute to Sadako Sasaki making paper cranes

Sadako began making cranes with medicine boxes wishing not only her recovery but thinking as well in all the victims who suffered the war. With this last inspiration Pallarols carved the word Peace in metal cranes. 1
Juan Carlos Pallarols melting a shell

The Project Two Roses for Peace, has been supported from the beginning by Colonel (Ret) José Martiniano Duarte. Through this project Juan Carlos Pallarols will melt an Argentine army shell with part of a British projectile found after the conflict. He will make then two 82 centimeters metal roses (82 cm. evoking the 1982 conflict as a symbol that another communication is possible. 8
During the meeting we were told that as a matter of fact they were going to be four roses honoring the cruiser ARA General Belgrano and the British casualties at Bluff Cove. In the latter, in just over two hours, with three waves of attacks and using fourteen aircraft in total, the Argentina Air Force caused more than 100 casualties and the loss of a frigate, two logistic support vessels and a SeaHarrier 

When the project is completed, a British lady who lost her husband, will take the rose made by Argentines to their cemetery while the mother of two fallen Argentine lads will take the other rose to the British fallen cemetery in San Carlos.
Juan Carlos Pallarols´tools  
(Photograph taken by the author)

Rose petals made with melted shells
(Photograph taken by the author)

The silversmith,who  "strongly disagrees with war,"  was inspired by the rose he made for Princess Diana of Wales after her funeral. 12
Pallarols also compiled a rose on the occasion of the wedding of Maxima Zorreguieta and Guillermo Alexander of the Netherlands, for Liza Minelli, Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelle Bachelet , model Valeria Mazza and others.

The entire project is reflected, point by point, in a minute book designed by Professor Julian Bernatene, which lists everyone who helped or participated in some way, not only with their signatures names but also through charcoal hand drawings. 12
The Nottingham-Malvinas Group, through the author, has given its full support to the project.
Ms. Delmira Hasenclever Cao, Chairman of the Committee of Relatives of  Fallen in Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands and mother of the only volunteer fallen in war, says the proposal  is "a mission of great peace for everyone to show that we can all can live in peace if people realize what the lives of human beings are. "
Among the families who have been shaken by war, there is no room for rancor between sides, because "they were all soldiers who fought for love of country," They say it is important to preserve the "memory" of what happened.

Argentine war veterans of the ARA Piedrabuena (D-29)
( former USS Collett (DD-730) at the meeting.
War veterans Ricardo Piedra. Rodolfo Hernández. Julio Lago,
Luis Feldman and Abel Monzón.
(Photograph taken by the author)

War veteran Reinaldo Rolón-Mar company-Marine Corps 5th Battalion
(Photograph taken by the author)

War Veteran Colonel (Ret) José Martiniano Duarte

Colonel (Ret) José Martiniano Duarte
(Photograph taken by the author)

During combat, on the island Gran Malvinas (West Falkland), then Army first lieutenant José Martiniano Duarte commanded Group Company 601 and along with three NCOs were looking for a place to watch British troops in San Carlos. They saw a dark-haired mustached soldier with a balaclava advancing. Duarte yelled in Spanish and English ordering them to lift up their hands. A British jumped alongside with big open eyes  5 

Then Duarte could see his uniform. Duarte received fire from the British M16 whose bullets hit the stone just in front of his face. Minutes later Duarte shot one British and the other immediately surrendered (Corporal Roy Fonseca). 
Duarte then sent to pick up the corpse whom he knew through Fonseca was Captain John Gavin Hamilton (29) Officer Commanding 19 (Mountain) Troop, D Squadron, 22 Special Air Service (SAS). Hamilton died in Packes Ridge near Port Howard. 11
A vigil was kept for Hamilton at the regiment and was buried with military honors. Duarte said that the British died protecting his comrade and that made him respect Hamilton as a soldier. 

Captain Gavin John Hamilton

When Duarte was made prisoner he mentioned this events to a British colonel telling how he had buried Hamilton and returning Hamilton´s  nameplate. I told him that he had fought with great courage and I would like to keep Hamilton´s  head covering.

The colonel was moved and it was he who made the report with Duarte´s testimony. Duarte's statements caused the British government to decorate Hamilton with the Military Cross. He didn´t receive the Victoria Cross as there was no senior officer present at the time of the event. His widow received the award from the Queen. Twenty years after the conflict, his widow thought it was time to meet the man who had killed her husband in combat. 7

An April 9, 2001, Duarte and Vicky Hamilton met at the Argentine Embassy in London. The first thing Vicky said was, "I wanted to meet you and thank you, because through your testimony my husband´s courage was recognized ."

Duarte said: For me, this meeting with Captain Hamilton´s widow closed a circle. It was much more sentimental than rational. Over the years, of all this display of miseries that is a war the only remaining thing for his sons and mine will be the good deeds and the good feelings.
Malvinas was a war in which one could see the enemy´s face. And when the enemy dies, there is always a wound. You are not responsible for the adversary, but there is always something not natural in the death of a person, in  killing a person. I don´t know if it can be said "I killed a person." We fought, and one of us died. It could have been me. 1,5

John Freeman
British ambassador in Argentina

On Thursday April 28, goldsmith Juan Carlos Pallarols was invited to the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires

Ambassador John Freeman welcomed the initiative Two Roses for Peace and offered the support from the British Council in order to  work together thus completing the project and creating cultural bridges between the Argentine and British nations.



  1. 1-Bono, Romina-Con balas de Malvinas, Pallarols creará dos rosas. de julio de 2016.
  2. Calificada visita de Juan Carlos Pallarols con ¨Dos rosas por la paz¨-La Zona-12 de junio de 2016
  3. Camarasa, Jorge-El día más negro de la Task Force-La Nación -8 de junio de 2000
  4. Dos rosas por la paz-Ex combatientes de Brandsen con Pallarols-infobrandsen-27 de junio de 2016.
  5. El combate que empezó en Malvinas y terminó en Londres-Clarín-15 de junio de 2002.
  6. Limiroski, Sergio-Juan Carlos Pallarols: Tenemos que recuperar los oficios-La Prensa-4 de noviembre de 2010
  7. Ministry of Defense-The roll of honour
  8. No me siento un artista-Clarín 24 de marzo de 2016.
  9. Pallarols, Juan Carlos-Wikipedia
  10. Pallarols visitará la ciudad este domingo y trabajará en el proyecto “Dos Rosas por la Paz”-11 de junio de 2016

  11. Soldiers remember Falklands hero-The Northern Echo-
  12. Terceiro, Cristina- Las balas de la Guerra de Malvinas mutan en rosas como homenaje a la paz-EFE Buenos Aires-18 de noviembre de 2015.