On Rizal Day, December 30, 2013, the National Museum of the Philippines will be formally declare the Rizal Monument as National Cultural Treasure and as a National Monument under Museum Declaration No. 0-2013, signed by three Trustees of the National Museum and Jeremy B. Barns, Director of the National Museum.
Unveiled to the public more than a century ago during the commemoration of the 17th death anniversary of the National Hero on December 30, 1913, the Rizal Monument titled Motto Stella (Guiding Star) was created by Swiss artist Richard Kissling. It was selected and approved for construction in early 1908 despite placing second in a competition behind the winner, Italian sculptor Carlos Nicoli’s “Al Martir de Bagumbayan,” because Nicoli was not able to comply with contractual requirement of paying a bond.
The monument was shipped in pieces to the Philippines in April 1912. It is a composite sculpture, comprising of cast bronze figures and granite obelisk and base. Located on the spot in Luneta (now also known as Rizal Park) close to where Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards in 1896. The monument also holds his remains underneath the granite base on Dec. 30, 1912.