Argentine National Library to unveil monument to Jorge Luis Borges

Buenos Aires, Jun 12 (EFE).- Argentina's National Library plans to unveil a monument to Jorge Luis Borges on Friday, the 27th anniversary of the world famous writer's death, officials said.

The full body statue by sculptor Antonio Oriana will honor Borges, who served as the library's director from 1955 to 1973.

The work, which will welcome visitors to the library, will show the writer sitting on a bench surrounded by his books and his famous cane.

Oriana made the 800-kilo (1,762-pound) statue, which is 1.6 meters (about 5 feet) tall from a plaster mold filled with cement, sand and an iron skeleton.

The sculptor, who worked on a Borges statue in the 1970s but later abandoned the project, has created statues of painter Benito Quinquela Martin, doctor and politician Alicia Moreau de Justo and musician Astor Piazzolla.

Borges was born on Aug. 24, 1899, in the middle-class suburb of Palermo, which today is one of Buenos Aires's more fashionable areas, and he died on June 14, 1986, in Geneva.

The author of the short-story compilations "Ficciones" (Fictions) and "El Aleph" (The Aleph), among many other works, received numerous international honors throughout his life, including the Formentor Prize in 1961, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize in 1979 and the Ollin Yoliztli Prize in 1981.

Borges, however, was never awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, an omission that many critics have attributed to his conservative leanings.