Rigele, who gladly accepted the commission, in early 1936 prepared two models
and sent their photos to Ede Telcs. One of them represents an eagle taking off,
while the other a towerin youngster.
The judges, Albert Berzeviczy, Géza Voinovich and Lajos Horánszky (we cannot
call them a jury, as they never officially came together) accepted the second
plan. Horánszky asked the artist to perform the spring survey and submitt he
budget in the spring. The statue should be ready by autumn, so that it could
stand in its place by All Saints’ Day.
In early summer 1936 the sculptor already sent a photo on the clay model to Ede Telcs, asking for his professional opinion. As he wrote, he planned agile drapes, which even symbolically stood in contrast to the relaxed arch of the body, in which he intended to shape much longing. 13
In May 1936 Alajos Rigele had a site visit in Alsósztregova. He found the grave in a neglected condition. Due to the careless foundation and masonry the ground water destroyed it so much that it had to be rebuilt.
In summer 1936 Rigele and his son, the architect László Rigele undertook the preparation of the Madách memorial and its installation in site, as well as the necessary rebuilding of the grave. The statue on the memorial and Madách’s portrait relief were made of bronze, and the pedestal of a time-resistant green sandstone. In the design of the memorial, the artist strived after a monumentality expressed with the simplest tools, as Madách’s personality was also without any artificial attitude. The statue, or in Regele’s beautiful words, the spirit of the Man longing for the sky, is standing on top of the grave. The two Rigeles undertook to control the entire working process. The total cost of the works were estimated at 53,697 crowns.
We have only limited data on the financing of the memorial. One reason is that
the organizers wanted to preserve the appearance of private initiative.
Lajos Horánszky, the coordinator of the works certainly reported about
them to the Kisfaludy Society, but the documents of the society survived
incomplete, as they were partially destroyed at the turn of 1944/45, during the
siege of Budapest. The costs were probably entirely covered from the funds
collected in Hungary. The largest sum was offered by the Hungarian Academy of
Sciences, which contributed to the erection of the Madách memorial with at least
3700 pengős from the interests of the Baron Podmaniczky Zsuzsanna Foundation.
The other sources are still unknown, or waiting for exploration.