Old School Film Hack

What Is This?


You know the drill…

The image has not been cropped, but it has been very heavily post-processed to enhance the bas-relief.  When I saw it for the very first time today, I initially didn’t know what it was or what it depicted… but when I read the plaque on the reverse side, it slowly came back to me and I’ve since discovered that it has some interesting history.

What is it?

And given how Tillerman wins these things so quickly, that’s all I’m giving you guys — for now — until somebody cries Uncle.

Now that Peter and Doc have correctly guessed the object — the Cuban Friendship Urn — which includes a very stylized depiction of the sinking of the USS Maine,  I’ll post the rest of the images I took of it.  Given how unique this memorial is, I felt I couldn’t reveal any details about it without giving the contest away.

It’s a beautiful little monument (I love the bas-relief on it, which is what initially caught my eye), but it’s in a less than ideal place in East Potomac Park, right next to the parking lot.  I suspect most people don’t know it exists and/or don’t give it a second glance as they pass by it.

The image below was taken a few feet away from the Cuban Friendship Urn; there had been an accident — perhaps someone falling asleep while they were driving — on the deck of Rochambeau Bridge above the parking lot (click on the photo below to enlarge it and you may just be able to spot a small bit of black debris between the third and fourth stanchions to the left of the light post on the bridge) and the force of the impact had showered debris down upon the ground.  Glad I wasn’t there when it happened, as the hood would have decapitated a pedestrian.  By the time I returned to the car a few hours later, all the debris was gone.

20 thoughts on “What Is This?

  1. O Docker

    It's the Cuban-American Friendship Urn, a name that warrants considerable explanation.

    The scene depicted is of the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor, with the old Morro Castle fort in the background. This was originally part of a memorial monument erected in Havana, but it's now in Washington, DC, as you would have been when you took the picture.

    I have no idea what Tillerman had for lunch today.


  2. Tillerman

    Congratulations Peter and O. I really didn't know this one. According to the Wikipedia it is one of the “10 monuments you’ve probably never heard of” in the Washington, D.C., region. I wonder what the other 9 are?


  3. Mitch Zeissler

    Here's the entire list of ten:

    The Women’s Titanic Memorial
    Jim Henson
    The Lobsterman Statue
    James Buchanan
    Orlando Letelier
    Taras Schevchenko
    Sonny Bono
    Samuel Gompers Memorial
    City Canal Marker
    Cuban American Friendship Urn


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