The esfr-bordermarkers in the Basque country are not safe. Recently the markers 76 and 100 have disappeared and no. 101 has been broken off:
For Basque nationalists, the esfr-border should be non-existent, cutting in half a region that should be an independent whole. There is an iconic picture of the ‘execution’ of bm098 in which a group of masked nationalists is watching the executioner.
Is this the reason that its bordermarkers are relatively more damaged or have more often disappeared than in other regions? We don’t know. Let’s not forget the temptation of ‘le désir de détruire’ which is of all times.
Anyway: on my latest trip to the Basque country in April 2022, I discovered that bm100 has disappeared:
And its neighbor no. 101 has been broken off:
Carlos Roca (website) inspected the crime scene with a forensic eye. He identified the whitish edge of the fracture area as being the result of a portable grinding saw. Having thus grinded a wedge, it’s easy to break the bm off:
The disappearance of bm076 was reported in july 2021 by Michel Molia (see this post):
Together we visited the spot and searched in vain the valley underneath the ridge, the so-called ‘Gorospil-cemetery‘
Altogether, we have now 8 cases of the 288 Basque-bordermarkers (nos. 1-272, including submarkers) which have disappeared or have been severely damaged:
– 067: shattered in pieces
– 076: disappeared
– 098: shattered in pieces
– 100: disappeared
– 101: broken off
– 236: disappeared
– 255: disappeared in 2007
– 271bis: disappeared
Michel Molia (website) reported to me on July 9th that bm076 in the Basque country has disappeared:
Not an easy act of vandalism because bm078 was a massive pillar:
Bordermarkers do disappear or are destroyed on some occasions but in the case of bm076 (and bm076), this is not the first time. At least 5 or 6 earlier versions of bm075 and bm076 have been thrown into the valley or have been demolished. On this webpage, you can read their history. See also this blog post.
In the valley west of the ridge of bm075-076, a few of the lost markers have been refound in earlier years. We call it the Gorospil-cemetery:
Two weeks later, Michel undertook a search in the ‘cemetery’. But he couldn’t find this last lost bm076. What happened to it?
Shortly after the previous post, Javier Martínez Ruiz surprised me with the pictures of his exploration in 2007 of this cemetery of the bordermarkers 75 and 76. At that time, these abandoned borderstones were far more visible than now. And there were even two pillars 75, all bordermarkers apparently pushed down the hill by vandals.
Jacques Koleck makes me jealous: he reported another amazing discovery. At Col the Gorrospil and just beneath it, there are two fairly new bordermarkers: bm075 and 076: see this page.
On june 30th 2013, Jaques Koleck discovered ± 50 meters downhill from bm075 the former pillars 076 and (probably) 075, both buried in the gravel of the stream of Haizagerrico, next to each other. A bit higher, he found another marker with no signs of engraving, possibly a submarker.
In more detail:
– bm076: the engraving is still fine
– bm075 (?): this one is cut vertically in half and the engraving seems destroyed with a hammer
– the third one lies 10 meters higher in line of the streambed in the open air. Jacques supposes that this is a submarker between the source of the stream (which is the borderline until Dantxarinea, 5 km to the west) and (the new) bm075.
From above from bm075, the spot of this cemetery is easy to see according to Jacques: where a huge uprooted beech tree lies flat. These old markers were put erect by Jacques to make the pictures.
And finally, let’s project the spot of these former markers on Google Earth: