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Nostalgia as Los Gigantes loses plaza lanterns 

There is something very curious in the human psyche as to why we don’t actually miss something we take for granted … until it disappears.

For years, the ornate, imposing, chandelier-like street lamps have been a feature of the plaza in the centre of Los Gigantes.

Only a few months ago, their proud columns, highlighted in a twisting weave of silvered fishes, were refurbished.

But then suddenly the sentinels of all things bright were removed as major works to revamp the square took shape, replacing worn, broken tiles with brand new concrete ones.

And here is where the curiosity kicks in: because initially, only a few of the more community-minded asked where the lamps had gone and, more to the point, when they would return.

The square has now been arduously restored and is almost (currently only almost) finished. And still no sign of the lamps.

But then, hey presto, as if by magic, lights returned to the plaza.

Not with the endearingly old fashioned, Liberace-style lamps, you understand, but tall, slim black-painted columns, topped by flat lamps pointing directly downward.

“They are about as stylish as a car park at night,” winced one disgruntled ex-Pat. “Terrible, just terrible.”

Los Gigantes, I’m assured by illustrious local worthies, had waited five years for improvements.

Residents claim their grievances over poor “character” of proposals were ignored.

One local fountain of architectural knowledge told me:” The lamps had a Spanish neo-historic flavour, which was appreciated by tourists — even though they were not genuinely old.”

He went on:”The new square is more open, but cheap and nasty. There are cheap concrete blocks, concrete steps, plain cheap lamp standards.

“Strange that, with all this public expenditure, the new square is a disgrace, and considered locally as inappropriate for the centre of the biggest tourist centre in the South-west of the Island.

“Perhaps local residents will reflect on what could have been done … Meantime we all suffer, and mourn the ‘Al Ham-bra’beautiful lanterns that used to adorn the plaza.”

As I write, and despite the new lamps being in position, they have still to be switched on.

Meantime, dear readers, perhaps you could throw some light as to what happened to the original lamps?

Or, like the plaza, are we to be kept in the dark…?