Cantalao is a mythical place, scene of Neruda’s only novel “The inhabitant and his hope” (1926). Many years after the launch of the literary work, Neruda would be proposed and call the place where his literary legacy would serve to promote and encourage new creators from Chile and the world, as well as scientific researchers.
The project to which Neruda spent his last months of life was ready to begin construction with the support of the CORMU (Corporation of Urban Improvement) during the government of Salvador Allende. The coup of September 11th 1973 and the subsequent death of Pablo Neruda twelve days later brought to a dramatic end the ultimate dream of the poet. During the early years of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship Neruda became an emblematic figure of resistance against the Military Junta, being his funeral first, then the celebrations in his name, the major events of the time. In the 80s, after the death of Neruda’s last wife: Matilde Urrutia, the lawyer linked to the Military Junta Juan Agustin Figueroa, who had approached the widow in the years after the coup, created the Pablo Neruda Foundation with him as his life President, in charge of all goods, rights and poet’s work. In 1992, during the first government since the return to democracy, with Juan Agustín Figueroa as Minister of Agriculture, the state funeral is performed and the body transfer of the poet and his wife to his home in Isla Negra, within the framework the formalization of the Pablo Neruda Foundation.
For more than four decades Cantalao remained as an empty lot, ignored and hidden. The project designed by Neruda did not materialize, but remained in the memory of one of his closest collaborators, the carpenter Rafael Plaza. In 2014, after the 40th anniversary of the death of Neruda, the Pablo Neruda Foundation supported by private investors and the parliament, a memorial in honor of the poet in the field Cantalao, the termination of the memory process in place. Currently Cantalao remains as a mythical space, located allegorically on the cliff that once belonged to Neruda. The foundation Neruda has distorted the will of the Nobel Prize for Literature, preponderating economic interests and political relations for the administration of the immense legacy that the poet donated to humanity.