Monday, 17 September 2012


As Olympic legacies go, Barcelona’s is better than most. 

The stadium and diving pool complex may now be a bit underused, but the 1992 Olympics were the shot in the arm that revived the city’s fortunes and propelled it into the first rank of international cities, a tourist hotspot and regional hub for multi-national commerce.

One legacy is a however a forgotten curiosity the giant matches are the Olympic site of at Vall d’Hebrón, uphill on the Barcelona’s eastern side.   

Swedish artist Claes Oldenburg produced this massive metal monument, a book of matches on the side of a road, with others scattered around the nearby pavements. It was a area that was greatly improved for the Games, and at the time with all the excitement a visitors the matches must have been marvellous to behold.

But the pop art styled statues have not stood the test of time as well as other Olympian public artworks works and now look forlorn and incongruous in the middle of a housing project, in an area that features on few tourist trials.

If you want to have a look at them the address is Av. Cardenal Vidal & Barraquer Cantonada Pare Mariana on buses 10, 17, 112 and 185.

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