Chasing a young thief, Kira, the main character of my novel, Kira and the Immigrant Thief, finds herself in front of the Fontana de Neptuno, a fountain that depicts the sea-god Neptune in a conch shell chariot pulled by sea-horses and surrounded by dolphins and seals. It was commissioned by Carlos III (1716-1788), the Bourbon ruler of Spain from whose line the present king of, Felipe VI, descends. The statue was sculpted by Juan de la Mena in white marble.
Subsequently Kira races onto Castellana Boulevard another of Carlos III’s urban projects. Carlos III subscribed to the principles of the Enlightenment and supported the arts, science and education. He sought to integrate Spain into the modern world, and demonstrate that her capital city, Madrid, rivaled other great European capitals like Paris and Rome.