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Murals pay tribute to Pyrenean town's former past

Local artist aims to reclaim local historical memory by transforming public spaces



28 November 2018 06:23 PM


ACN | Soriguera

'Arcalís, terra de bandolers' (Arcalis, bandit land) reads a large mural welcoming visitors to the Pyrenean town in Andorra. It is the work of local artist, Xavi Pedemonte, recalling the story of Lliser d'Arcalís, a highwayman from the area who led a group of bandits at the end of the 19th century.

There are a dozen such murals that Pedemonte says are aimed at reclaiming the town's historical memory. A few meters away from the bandit mural is another of an old photograph showing what the town was like over 40 years ago, while another shows animals working in the fields.

Locals welcome murals

The local people have welcomed the murals. Maria says that the paintings take her back to when they used animals to transport goods and the crops were threshed in the fields. The painting of an old photograph of Arcalís reminds Maria of what the town's streets used to look like.

Pedemonte says the street paintings he does are aimed at transforming public spaces and reinforcing the identity of the local people. Reproducing old photographs, he says, is something that people identify with easily. The idea is to portray moments, traditions or local figures that no longer exist.

An example is the mural of the last bellringer in the town of Estac, in Pallars Sobirà. Other paintings pay tribute to the spectacular local landscape, the people who tend it and the animals, such as cattle, who live on it. Local wildlife also appear, such as a salamandra or a vulture.


  • One of the murals in Arcalís, in the Catalan Pyrenees, in November 2018 (by Marta Lluvich)

  • One of the murals in Arcalís, in the Catalan Pyrenees, in November 2018 (by Marta Lluvich)