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L'Estel ferit, (The Wounded Shooting Star), Rebecca Horn

LEstel ferit, (The Wounded Shooting Star), Rebecca Horn

The sculpture L'Estel Ferit (The Wounded Shooting Star) consists of four twisted cubes, stacked seemingly at random. Most people refer to this popular landmark as "the cubes", and it is a clear reflection of Barcelona's penchant for ground-breaking art during the Olympic period. However, its symbolism is inextricably linked to the past of the Barceloneta district.

The sculpture L'Estel Ferit pays tribute to Barcelona's fishing district, the Barceloneta, and has become one of its iconic landmarks. The German artist Rebecca Horn heralded a new phase in the decoration of the city's streets and squares. It was 1992, and the city's most neglected neighbourhoods were in need of a clean up, while they opened up to the sea and adorned themselves with sculptures that were often innovative. In this case, Horn sought to immortalise the legendary seafront bars and restaurants, or xiringuitos, which just a few years before had dotted the Barceloneta coastline. The xiringuitos were shacks that had fallen into disrepair but still retained their essential charm. However, by the time the pre-Olympic city was being refurbished they had seen better days and were removed. Some people say that the cubes represent the 30m2 apartments, known locally as quarts de pis, which were built at the end of the 19th century.

Whatever the interpretation, there's no denying that the artist created an impressive 10-metre-high sculpture, comprising four steel blocks that rise up from a concrete base. Each block, with its glass windows, comprises an individual module. Stacked one on top of another, these cubes look like they're performing a fragile dance and are held up by chance. Locals and visitors alike don't seem to fear the apparent instability of the structure, which is silhouetted against the background of the sea.

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Address: Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, Platja de Sant Miquel. Barcelona
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