Euskamerika, two artists, one work

Apr 29, 2009

A work by the sculptor Nestor Basterretxea can be seen in Gotein-Libarrenx village park since early April 2009. Inspired by an American oak leaf, it pays tribute to exiled Basques. Like an echo to the monument "Bakardade" in Nevada...

Euskamerika, two artists, one work

Ironwork songs

The Souletin musician and singer Jean-Mixel Bedaxagar, who is also an blacksmith by trade, created in his workshop in Ordiarp a work designed by the sculptor Nestor Basterretxea. This work is inspired by an American oak leaf and pays tribute to the Souletin and Basque shepherds who left to work in America. It was inaugurated in the Iturzabala park in the village of Gotein-Libarrenx (Soule) on 4 April 2009 during the 20th edition of the "Xiru" festival.

Exile and meetings

"Euskamerika" - Nestor Basterretxea - Mixel Etxekopar

Mixel Etxekopar, who created the "Xiru" musical festival, is behind the initiative: "When I presented him our project Nestor was very enthusiastic." The theme was "zazpi eta bat" (seven and one), which refers to the thousands of exiled Basques, who mostly went to the Americas, just like Nestor Basterretxea, who took exile in Argentina at a very young age to escape the Franco dictatorship.

He naturally accepted taking part in this project. "A few days later he called me: "Mixel, are there any blacksmiths in your village?" - There's not a blacksmith, there's the blacksmith Mixel Bedaxagar". That is how Euskamerika was born.



"Euskamerika" is reminiscent of another of Basterretxea's works dedicated to the Basque diaspora and more particularly to the Basque shepherds of the American west: "Bakardade" or "Solitude", a national monument built in Reno - Rancho San Rafael ( "The National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder" - Nevada - USA).

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