It was almost two years ago that approval was given by the Murcia Regional Government to rename Corvera Airport “Aeropuerto Internacional de Murcia – Juan de la Cierva y Codorniũ”, however the authorities may now be forced into having a ‘rethink’ after protestations from an increasing number of historians and memorial associations.
It all seemed to be ‘plane sailing’ when the name of the Murcia born engineer, who was responsible for designing the very first autogyro rotary wing aircraft in Madrid in 1920, was first put forward, but following a great deal of recent publicity around the inventor’s prominent role in General Franco’s military coup, they could be forced to change their minds.
Recently, Professor Diego Jiménez, wrote about the details of Juan de la Cierva’s relationships with the coup plotters of July 18, 1936, his rental of the Dragon Rapide plane, conspiring in London against the legitimate Government of the Second Republic, and his discussions with Mussolini and others, historical facts that have been highlighted by historians like Ángel Viñas and others.
They claim that should the airport be renamed after the engineer, it would be in breach of the current Law of Historical Memory, so another name should be chosen, one who will not cause controversy.
Fortunately, in the Region of Murcia there are plenty of figures that meet such criteria, but the one name that could prove to be the most relevant, is Isaac Peral, the inventor of the submarine, who hails from Cartagena.
Peral, who was also a scientist and a sailor, was the Director of Physics and Mathematics at the School of Naval Studies. Unfortunately, however, he was not sufficiently valued by the politicians of his time, who failed to harness the enormous benefits that would have fallen to Spain in the development of the first battery-powered submarine.
Many people now feel that it is time that the balance was redressed and Isaac Peral finally got the recognition that his invention deserved. Historians say that it would both repair a historical injustice, and it would be a source of pride for all Murcians.