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Plensa's 'secret heart' to promote the importance of prevention in cardiovascular diseases

Plensa's 'secret heart' to promote the importance of prevention in cardiovascular diseases
bonart barcelona - 29/09/23

The artist Jaume Plensa has given the installation El Cor Secret to the Hospital Clínic Barcelona and the University of Barcelona on the occasion of World Heart Day, which is celebrated on Friday 29 September. It is an inflatable made of synthetic fabrics and hand-painted, which is 13 meters high, 9 meters wide and weighs more than 150 kilos, and which has been installed with the aim of promoting prevention in cardiovascular diseases. The work, inaugurated this Thursday, occupies the entire porch of neoclassical columns of the emblematic building of the Faculty of Medicine of the UB and, as Plensa explained, seeks "maximum realism". In fact, as he indicated, the choice of location is not accidental, since "the columns recreate the ribs" that surround the heart.

In the opening ceremony, the Minister of Health, Manel Balcells, emphasized that the huge facility sends a clear message about the "importance of prevention and promotion" in the fight against cardiovascular diseases. In this sense, Balcells has insisted on the need for the population to "take care" of the heart with healthy habits, physical activity and avoiding addictions such as smoking or stressful situations.

In turn, the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, also present at the event, claimed Plensa as the "most international" sculptor in the city and celebrated that he had given the installation "to the city". The mayor agreed that the purpose of the work is "to remind the entire population of the importance of taking care of what is the essence of life, which is the heart", and defended that "from the the city is making efforts" to promote these healthy habits "with more green areas, with more areas to do sports and with a network of municipal markets" that promote healthy eating.

The work was exhibited for the first time at the gas factory in Augsburg-Oberhausen, in Germany, in 2014. However, Plensa has celebrated that with the installation at the Faculty of Medicine of the UB the work "has taken on a more powerful meaning." "This is an iconic building for all of us who live in the city," he said.

On the arrival of the work in the city, the general director of the Hospital Clínic, Josep Maria Campistol, explained that he and Plensa had the intention of installing 'El Cor Secret' in the health center since five years, but the pandemic delayed the project. "The heart is here because of Jaume's generosity", admitted Campistol, who at the same time said that the idea arose years ago, when Plensa gave him a book whose cover featured this "giant heart".

At the inauguration, the head of the Clinic's cardiology service, Anna Garcia, also spoke, who made a strong claim to the importance of teaching and research in the fight against cardiovascular diseases. In fact, each year, the hospital admits more than 3,000 people for heart-related causes, attends more than 25,000 consultations, and performs around 900 heart surgeries and more than 5,000 interventional procedures.

The inflatable installation can be seen for free from Calle Casanova until the evening of Monday 2 October.

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