In the mid-1970s Julio Lafuente working for the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to bring about the "beautification" of the city through the realization of landmarks and monuments. Julio Lafuente achieved this purpose through his works that are designed to celebrate local culture. Inspiration for his calligraphic sculpture Verse Boat (Qareb Al-Doa’a) was taken from Hassan Massoudy’s book Calligraphie Arabe Vivante (Flammarion, 1981) and the sculpture was then created from twenty tonnes of bronze. The verse is from the Koran (al-Isra` 17:80) and in english reads: "O my Lord! Let my entry be by the Gate of Truth and Honour, and likewise my exit by the Gate of Truth and Honour....".
Julio Lafuente, stimulated by the architects and artists who attend his carpenter father's workshop, emigrated with his family from Spain to France to study architecture at l'École Nationale Superieure de Beaux Arts. After the occupation of France in 1941 he returned to Spain, where he continued his training alternating between studies and works of architecture. After the war he completed his studies in France and embarked on a "Grand Tour" of Italy using a BMW motorcycle and found himself in Rome, a city he fell in love with due to its classical antiquity and nascent modern quarters.
From 1953 he worked with Studio Monaco Luccichenti and brought about the realization of several projects and he collaborated extensively with the engineer Gaetano Rebecchini on several works including the Hippodrome of Tor di Valle (Rome) and the Hospital of the Sovereign Order of Malta.