'El Barrendero' - Atlas Obscura

'El Barrendero'

This sculpture pays homage to the street sweepers of Madrid since its inauguration in 2001 in Plaza Jacinto Benavente. 


One of the most surprising statues in Madrid is this 2001 statue of the street sweeper in action. This is one of those statues that one could easily pass by and ignore due to its realism.

Going up from Puerta del Sol in the direction of Lavapiés, visitors will always meet the same character halfway: the humble street sweeper from the Plaza de Jacinto Benavente. The statue was a token of gratitude from the mayor of Madrid who wanted to recognize the work of the street sweepers.

This sculpture by Félix Hernando was commissioned by the Department of Cleaning of the city of Madrid. The author used a street sweeper from nearby Colmenar Viejo, as a model. The uniform which the statue wears is the one worn by this guild during the 1960s.

Street sweepers perform some of the hardest and most unsung jobs in any city. El Barrendero is fashioned after Jesús Moreno, the most seasoned sweeper in Madrid who in 2001, had served Madrid for 48 years. It is a stunning and well-liked homage to a few of the unsung heroes of Madrid.

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Te statue is right in the heart of Plaza de Jacinto Benavente

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