Monday, May 11, 2009


I’m told these enormous bulls dot the Spanish landscape. They began as advertisements for Osborne sherry. Over fifty years later they are considered public art in Spain.

My daughter Melissa sent me this photo. It was snapped by her co-worker, Jessica Bates, on a recent trip to Spain. I'm jealous, but hope to investigate further! A trip to Spain, that is. A glass of sherry won't get the job done.

The story as told at

The Osborne sherry company...originally placed the bulls on roadside bends to catch drivers' attention. They used to bear the company logo and the name of its Veterano brandy, but the words were removed in 1988 after it was ruled that they were distracting drivers. By then the silhouettes were so famous that the company decided drivers would need no reminding of what the bulls were promoting.

In the mid-90s a new law banned the siting of structures too close to roads, so Osborne moved its bulls to hillsides overlooking the motorways. But they still faced legal challenges. By then, though, the public had so grown to love the bulls that even the supreme court could not sanction their removal. In 1997 judges ruled that the bulls had "become part of the landscape."

(More from Wilkipedia)

Wouldn’t these look great atop distant hills in Durham County along I-40, I-85 and the Durham Freeway!?! Billboards for the Durham Bulls...or public art?