The exhibition is complemented by the exhibition 'Stone Guardians. The castles of Alicante', which also comes from Alicante Provincial Council
Boca del Calvari museum inaugurates the exhibition 'Guardians of the sea. The Tower of Caletes'
Boca del Calvari museum opened its doors yesterday to one of its biggest bets; the exhibition 'Guardians of the sea. Caletes Tower', which comes from the hands of the Provincial Council of Alicante and the Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ) and is focused on this 16th-century watchtower located in Punta del Cavall and classified as an Asset of Cultural Interest (B.I.C.).
The inauguration of the exhibition was attended by a large audience, in addition to the attendance of the mayor of the city, Toni Pérez, the councilor for Historical and Cultural Heritage, Ana Pellicer, the head of the Provincial Coastal Service, Rosa de los Ríos, Manuel Olcina, technical director of the MARQ, José Luis Menéndez, curator of the exhibition, José Alberto Cortés, managing director of the MARQ, the provincial deputy José Ramón González de Zárate, the autonomous deputy Manuel Pérez Fenoll, members of the corporation and the queens of the Festes Majors Patronals Daniela Talavera and Angélica Morenilla, along with President Vicente Solaz, among other personalities.
The councilor for the area, Ana Pellicer, was the first to intervene and explained that "the great attraction of this exhibition, in addition to learning about the entire historical context and the role, played by Caletes Tower throughout several centuries, is to be able to see the material and objects that the archaeologists found and recovered during the years 2017 and 2018 and that are in the custody in MARQ museum”. She also thanked "the sensitivity that all the collaborators have had to make this proposal a reality." The mayor wanted to highlight that one of the City Council's commitments is "to make the city an open-air museum and that this is the first of many proposals."
"With the temporary return to Benidorm of this material, we complete the story that we began in 2017 when, at the request of the City Council, the Provincial Coastal Service executed the consolidation project of the cliff on which the tower stands and proceeded to its restoration, ensuring thus its survival over time” he added. All the material found was treated, analyzed, and cataloged by the MARQ and allowing archaeologists to know how the watchmen who inhabited Caletes Tower lived, from the clothing they wore, the weapons they used, and even their diet.
The exhibition has an exclusive, highly visual design that favors viewer interaction. An exhibition that does not come alone, but does so together with the exhibition 'Guardians of stone. The castles of Alicante', in which a tour of the main fortifications of the province is made. Benidorm is also present in this second exhibition, through the Castell, which was part of the defensive line of the coast.
Rosa de los Ríos highlighted the actions of Costas "with investments to rehabilitate and recover our past" while Manuel Olcina spoke about the origin and function of watchtowers and the past of the Mediterranean coast, "which was empty, with few sentinels, far removed from what it is today”. Then, he said, "the coast was presented as an insecure territory and it became depopulated." Regarding the Torre de Les Caletes, he explained that "it had the obligation to notify the population of the Berber attacks and it was a solitary tower that communicated with two others." Olcina congratulated the City Council "for the exhibition and for the work to recover the tower, as well as all those who have made it possible."
José Luis Menéndez, the curator of the exhibition, recalled the “need for the populations of the province to fortify and wall themselves, which now for us is a great chest of information. Benidorm is a great example of the more than 1,200 fortifications that are preserved in the Mediterranean” for which he asked, “enjoy these treasures and admire the magnificent work of the MARQ professionals”.
José Alberto Cortés, director of MARQ, for his part, pointed out that the exhibition "brings us closer to people" and that "we have been doing this exhibition for a long time," he said.
The event was closed by the mayor, who recalled that "the story we have been told is that Benidorm was a land of corsairs" and revealed that "no one suspected that until today that tower contained a great treasure for the city" alluding to the belongings of "the person who was there to protect the population and who in his flight left not only his belongings but even his food."
Pérez also referred to the actions and investments made in the Torre de Les Caletes, which allowed "consolidating the cliff and finding a room that was in very good condition." Finally, he wanted to point out that with this exhibition "we will remember that Benidorm's past was as splendid as the future we want".
After the interventions, a visit to the exhibition took place, in which the public will be able to find textile elements -among them, some espadrilles-, remains of the crockery used to store water, fragments of vines used to light the bonfires that allowed the alert voice in case of pirate raids on the coast, or lead bullets from defense muskets.