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Group of people with the stone

Various dignataries attended the event on March 28, 1951. / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

Miró-Sans holding a Barça flag

President Francesc Miró-Sans led the proceedings. / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

Crowd of people on the future forecourt

Thousands of people watched the stone being laid. / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

The first step towards the construction of the Camp Nou occurred in September 1950, when then president Agustí Montal i Galobart signed the option to purchase the site in the district of Maternitat, which was made effective two months later. But it would be another two and a half years before the building work started. New president Francesc Miró-Sans was a fervent advocate of getting the job done sooner rather than later and on February 18,1954 he announced that the stadium would be built on the land purchased in 1950 and not at the top of the Diagonal as was also being suggested. Sixty years ago, on March 28, a crowd of 60,000 people gathered to watch the first stone of the Camp Nou being laid by civil governor Felipe Acedo Colunga and blessed by the Archbishop of Barcelona, Gregorio Modrego.

That stone is now in the FC Barcelona Museum, in the middle of the first floor, as part of a display showing the club’s continuity: including the posters for the different anniversaries, and this very peculiar stone, unusual in that the first stones of most major construction projects usually end up buried underground and forgotten, and what’s more this particular item has been the first stone on two separate occasions.

From Les Corts to the Camp Nou

That’s because it was also the first stone laid at the old ground at Les Corts, solemnly placed by Joan Gamper himself on February 19, 1922. Then, 38 years later, the same stone was used to symbolise commencement of work on the future Camp Nou stadium under the presidency of Francesc Miró-Sans.

The stone emerged during the modifications made at Les Corts, and the idea occurred of using it again for the Camp Nou. A new date was inscribed on the back and the stone was laid, but following a new reconstruction process, it once again appeared on the surface. There seems to be something about this stone that makes it refuse to be hidden away, and hence it is now proudly displayed inside the Club Museum, as an iconic and emblematic image of the continuity of the club.

 

 

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