BUENOS AIRES – An iron sculpture of the lost Argentine submarine ARA San Juan was put on display on Friday in tribute to the vessel’s 44 crew members.
The sculpture is the work of Juan Yocca, a master ironworker from the northern province of Santiago del Estero, who spent 350 hours on the piece.
“This has affected all Argentines,” Yocca told EFE, adding that he started the sculpture last December, as authorities were continuing to search for the San Juan, which disappeared Nov. 15.
Photographs of the 44 crew members are displayed under the sculpture, but the artist paid special tribute to the only woman on board, Eliana Maria Krawczyk, who – like Yocca – was of Lithuanian descent.
Another crew member Yocca celebrated is Santiago del Estero native David Melian.
The sculpture will remain on display until Sunday as part of the Second International Ironworkers Encounter in Buenos Aires, taking place at the La Munich building, once a famous brewery and now home to the capital’s General Directorate of Museums and the Museum of Humor.
“These are people of great courage,” Yocca said.
While he doesn’t know where the sculpture will end up, he said that he hoped the government would place it “somewhere meaningful.”