Barcelona city council has today unveiled its permanent memorial to the victims of the 2017 terrorist attacks. On 17th August that year, 16 people were killed and over a hundred injured in Barcelona and Cambrils. The memorial is a bronze plaque, set into the pavement of Barcelona's Rambla, 12 metres (13 yards) long and 20cm (8 inches) wide. It's to be found next to the Miró mosaic halfway down the avenue, where the van used in the attack came to a halt and which has since become a symbol of peace.
The memorial includes a drawing by the artist Frederic Amat, the date and time of the attack (17.08.2017 at 16:50) and a quote in four languages (Arabic, Catalan, Spanish and English): "Peace come upon you, oh city of peace". The phrase was originally written in Arabic on one of the more than 5,000 messages of sympathy that were left by people from around the world along the boulevard in the days following the attacks. The drawing, seen below, was done by the artist the day of the attack. It's the word Barcelona with the letter "l" turned into a black loop of mourning.
The phrase was chosen from ten "finalists" by victims of the attack and their families. The various offerings left on the Rambla were collected and recorded by experts from the Museum of the History of Barcelona and the Municipal. They were later digitised and can be viewed on the city's website.
Inaugurem el #MemorialRambla17A, un homenatge a totes les víctimes dels atemptats de Barcelona i Cambrils, les més properes i les més llunyanes, i a la ciutat que va vèncer l'odi i la por. pic.twitter.com/qgBuovXzyE— Ajuntament de BCN (@bcn_ajuntament) 4 de març de 2019
The ceremony to inaugurate the memorial included a short speech from Mireia Martínez, who lost her young brother Xavi in the attack. No political speeches were made, although representatives from all areas of political life were in attendance, including Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau; members of the opposition parties on the city council; the Catalan presidency minister, Elsa Artadi; the Catalan interior minister, Miquel Buch; the Spanish government's delegate to Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera, and consuls from different countries touched by the attacks. Also present were victims of the attacks, their friends and relatives, representatives of the emergency services involved in the response and the artist Frederic Amat.
In 2020, as part of a broader works on the Rambla, the mosaic will be cleaned and restored by a team of ceramics specialists. It was gifted to the city by Joan Miró in 1976.