This is a new primate genus and species identified from fossil remains found in the Els Hostalets de Pierola area in 2002. It is a middle Miocene primate from 11.9 million years ago, a time when hominids dispersed from Africa to Eurasia. It is the oldest primate capable of walking upright. It was named PAU (peace in Catalan and the first name Paul) on its public unveiling in 2004, coinciding with the repudiation of the war in Iraq.


 Faced with the challenge of creating a monumental work to commemorate the PAU, Guido Dettoni wrapped in clay the fossilized head of this Pierolapithecus. Since it had not been found by hand but by a bulldozer during the construction of a phase of the Can Mata landfill, he wanted to give a human dimension to the discovery.

Guido Dettoni divided the clay envelope into two parts to open it like a mold. He saved the fossil’s sub-squares and, to extract it, rounded its concavities to turn their interiors into another mold, which he filled. In this way, he obtained the shape of the final sculpture. This one enlarged and in turn, divided into two parts contained itself again.  Then he enlarged, again and again, the two halves as layers suggesting the millions of years of PAU’s existence, and the two voids, the negatives, became large concavities into which to enter.   

The reproduction of the layers stops once they reach a height of 2.5 meters each, becoming a granite sculptural ensemble installed in the park of Cal Ponsa in Els Hostalets de Pierola.   

By placing ourselves between the two halves of the PAU sculpture, we are offered sounds and echoes of present and past nature.

Anyone who wishes can inhabit it and thus become PAU.

PAU, its finding

Dettoni divided this earthen covering into two parts to open it like a mold. He then saved the counter-outputs of the fossil, and rounded the concavities of the mold to extract it, turning its interior into a new volume. He filled it to obtain the shape of the final work.

This shape, enlarged, divided into two parts again, contains itself. The two parts are further enlarged as layers which suggest the millions of years of PAU’s existence. The two negatives become large concavities into which anyone can enter.

The layers stop at the enlargement of two halves, each measuring 2.5 meters, and are converted into a granite sculpture installed in Els Hostalets de Pierola at the park of Cal Ponsa.

The inauguration

PAU inauguration

2 Videos


Inaugurated on December 15, 2018 – Els Hostalets de Pierola, Cal Ponsa Park.

Sponsored by Associació per la Cultura dels Hostalets de Pierola and CRIP  (Centre de Recerca i Investigació Paleontològica dels Hostalets de Pierola).

Performances during the event

PAU performances

2 Videos

Carles Duarte i Montserrat recites his poem “A gaze from the Past Reborn” that he has written for the artwork PAU. Eugeni Muriel, director of the Music School of Els Hostalets de Pierola, accompanies him with the guitar.

Poesia per en PAU de Guido
DettoniDesembre 2018

Reneix una mirada del passat

Ombres d’un rostre
s’enlairen com llavis
-del crit al mot-,
com finestres
des d’on el temps es fon
en un cristall de llum.

Entre les dues figures,
a través nostre,
temences i esperances esborrades;
confluïm en els somnis
que algú va imaginar.

En un sol gest
els oceans dels dies
i un mateix horitzó.

Al fons dels ulls,
la memòria dels segles
reescriu cels sense fi
i l’insòlit perfil de les muntanyes.

Cerquem sota la terra
petjades que romanen,
sorra endins,
com una Lluna antiga
que anhelava unes mans
on ressorgir.

Carles Duarte i Montserrat

PAU memory capsule

The realization of the sculpture of PAU includes a memory capsule that represents a fossil of the future and will symbolize the link between the past (the Pau), the present (us), and the future (what remains to be discovered).