Barcelona honors terror attack victims with poem in eight languages
Spanish and Catalan presidents and King of Spain take backseat at event, pro-Spanish protestors show support for Felipe
A year to the day after the terror attacks in Catalonia that left 16 people dead, the city of Barcelona paid its official tribute to the victims in an event held in Catalunya square, close to where the main attack took place on La Rambla boulevard.
Although the event was attended by such dignitaries as the King of Spain and the Spanish and Catalan presidents, the tribute aimed to avoid politics so as to focus on the dozens injured in the attacks, as well as the family members of those killed.
After music students began the event with a performance of El Cant dels Ocells by the renowned Catalan cellist Pau Casals, representatives of the public in t-shirts bearing the motto “Barcelona, city of peace” read out a poem in the eight languages of the victims.
More music followed the readings of the poem, by 16th century English poet John Donne, with the same music students performing songs by the likes of John Lennon, Harold Arlen, Leonard Cohen and Jaume Sisa.
Support for King Felipe
Throughout the event the public figures took a backseat, and unlike last year’s event to show solidarity with the victims, this time King Felipe VI was not taunted by protestors unhappy with the monarch’s failure to condemn police violence during the October 1 referendum.
In fact, the only disruption to what was a solemn event came from pro-Spanish protestors chanting support for Felipe VI, to the indignation of many people there. Yet, more music at the end ensured that the event came to a close without any further incident.