AFTER weeks of mystery, Granada’s San Cecilio hospital has finally learnt the identity of the secret origami artist who brought smiles to the cafeteria with his quirky creations.

Every three weeks or so, staff at the hospital’s cafeteria would find a couple of dancers made of napkins left on display in a window.

The days went by and after 21 days, a new couple would appear. And so gradually the collection grew. 

The dancers have fluffy skirts and big hats, and their arms are rolled up in such a way that, when gently tapped, they unwind and appear to be dancing.

This is how the mystery of the origami dancers began.

Paco Cancer 2
After 21 days, a new napkin couple would appear (Image: Granada’s San Cecilio Hospital twitter account)

After the collection grew to six couples, hospital staff decided to attempt to find the identity of the anonymous artist so they could express their gratitude.

On March 11, they posted two images of the figures and asked Twitter to ‘work its magic’.

“For some time now a mysterious artist has been leaving these napkin dancers in the cafeteria. We would like to find this person who never ceases to amaze us and thank him in a special way.

The question was soon answered as the next day Jorge Molina replied to the tweet.

“That person is not having the best time, but doing these crafts relaxes him, distracts him and helps him to keep going. He’s my dad. Everyone knows him as Paquito, from Padul.”

And so the origami maker was revealed as Francisco Molina, 81, a mechanic born in Salobreña who was diagnosed with colon cancer about a year ago.

After undergoing surgery last November, he has to attend hospital every three weeks for a three-hour chemotherapy treatment.

“We have to be there at nine o’clock, but the chemo doesn’t start until 10.30am,” explained the patient.

So, Paco sits down every 21 days at 9.30am in the cafeteria of the University Hospital and after ordering a coffee, he grabs a napkin and starts his handicrafts.

After placing his finished work in the crack of the window, he goes to the seventh floor of the hospital to receive his treatment.

“Sometimes I eat a piece of candy to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth after the chemo and I make figures with the wrapper.

“In the bars where they know me, they take away my napkin holder because I make everything: hats, planes, birds… But the dancers are the ones that most attract people’s attention,” he said.

He has only had four sessions, but he has already had time to make himself loved in the San Cecilio hospital.


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