The Marble School distinguished for its participation in the elaboration of the sculptures in homage to Andalusian society during COVID-19.

The Escuela del Mármol de Fines, a training centre attached to the Andalusian Employment Service (SAE) of the Regional Ministry of Employment, Training and Self-Employment, has received recognition from the Regional Minister of the Presidency, Public Administration and the Interior, Elías Bendodo, for its participation in the creation of one of the eight sculptures in tribute to Andalusian society and the professionals who have worked to stop the pandemic located in the capitals of the autonomous community.

The sculpture, made in Mármol Blanco Macael from the design of the sculptor José Antonio Navarro Arteaga, represents hands clapping their hands, and was inaugurated by the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, in the capital of Jaén in September 2020.

The participation of the Escuela del Mármol de Fines in this initiative came about thanks to the mediation of the Asociación de Empresarios del Mármol de Andalucía, with which the training centre maintains a close collaboration. Companies associated with AEMA, which have the technology and qualified professionals to carry out this work, have made the other seven sculptures.

The execution of the piece was carried out in two phases: a first phase of cutting, roughing and machining on a 5-axis CNC (computer numerical control) machining centre, starting with three blocks of marble provided by the company Cosentino (one for each hand, about 170 cm high, and another for the pedestal, 20 cm high); and a second phase of carving, manual finishing and assembly.

Some 200 hours of work have been dedicated to the machining phase, while the second phase of carving, finishing and finishing required 80 hours, to which a further 10 hours were added for assembly.

Professionals from the School with more than 20 years of experience have worked on this project, such as Marta Mingorance Acosta, Graduate in Fine Arts, Head of the Natural Stone Restoration Department and sculptor; Antonio Gabriel Romero Rodríguez, Head of the Practices Department, trainer in programming and handling of numerical control machines and natural stone processing and Pedro Jiménez Pérez, Head of the workshop and trainer in cutting, processing and finishing of natural stone.

The Escuela del Mármol de Fines is also a National Reference Centre for Vocational Training in the family of Extractive Industries. It is currently developing its new 2021-2023 programme, which includes eight training actions – seven itineraries in different specialities and the VET teaching course – totalling 3,910 teaching hours, with work experience in companies, aimed at 120 unemployed people. This programme responds to the needs of natural stone companies and the occupations most in demand in the sector. The centre will soon begin to offer vocational training for employed workers and training actions associated with training and apprenticeship contracts.

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