Amongst those present at the unveiling of the statue were the Madrina (female patron) of the competition that year, the well-known Murcian singer MariTrini, and the mayor of the city of Murcia, D. Miguel Angel Cámara Botía, who acted as padrino (male patron) at this ceremony, which was hosted by the journalist, Joaquín Arozamena.
Many civil dignitaries from the city of Murcia were also present at such a special event, together with all the members of the Tuna de Medicina de Murcia, who are responsible both for organizing the International Tuna Competition and for achieving their dream in the shape of this statue. Tunas from all over the region who had supported this idea and tunas who had already arrived in the city to take part in the forthcoming competition were also in attendance at the ceremony. It is of no surprise, therefore, to learn that on such an auspicious occasion, many different songs were performed by many different tunas.
The aforementioned monument serves as a further example of the affection that both the city of Murcia and its inhabitants hold not only for the Tuna and its members, but also for the tradition that it represents. On the same day that the statue was unveiled, the International Costa Cálida Tuna Competition was officially declared to be Actividad y Fiesta de Interés Turístico Regional (Activity and Festivity of Regional Interest for Tourists) by the autonomous government of Murcia, being the first event of its kind to be granted this honour.
The statue can be found in the gardens of San Basilio el Grande (take the Madrid motorway and come off at the exit Murcia Centro) next to the city’s pergola which is traditionally where the tunas who participate in the International Tuna Competition perform. So, it is more than fitting that the statue should be witness to these performances, which always take place in April and are held in the evening.
The work is by a local sculptor, Miguel Llamas, and it is made up of three separate pieces which together form the sculptural whole. The statue seeks to achieve a certain harmony between modernism, due to the materials which have been used, and tradition, which is represented by the figure of the tuno itself and the accompanying instruments.
In this way, the statue manages to portray both sides of the spirit of the tuna, the present day figures that we now know who have adapted to the times in which they find themselves, whilst always seeking to maintain this time-honoured tradition which has allowed them to exist and still be recognised seven centuries later.
Mulberry trees grow in the garden of San Basilio, where the statue is found, and in spring, the monument is adorned with leaves and flowers, adding to the effect created by those which are already planted at its base.
The main piece is the life-size image of a tuno playing the guitar and wearing a cape, the latter being cut from a sheet of steel which is approximately ten centimetres thick. The statue, which stands at almost two metres, is mounted on a marble base.
To the left (if seen from the front), there is another smaller piece of marble on which is mounted a tambourine made of lead and it is here where we can find the sculptor's signature.
To the right, there is an oblique rectangular plaque with an engraving in the centre which depicts a lute whose strings, which are made of steel, reach from its neck down to the ground. On this lute there is a plaque from the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) of Murcia which remembers the date of the statue's unveiling and carries the following inscription, 'La ciudad de Murcia en homenaje a la Tuna' (The city of Murcia in recognition of the Tuna).