Barcelona street art installation calls for peace in Gaza

By Thomson Reuters Feb 8, 2024 | 1:28 PM

By Nacho Doce and Horaci Garcia

MADRID (Reuters) – An art installation calling for an end to fighting in Gaza and peace between Israelis and Palestinians by French street artist James Colomina popped up on Thursday on downtown Barcelona’s Ramblas boulevard.

Titled “The Children of Peace”, it features statues – painted entirely in Colomina’s hallmark bright red – of two children, one wearing a Jewish kippah and the other a Palestinian keffiyeh as headdress, holding hands.

They stand in front of a white canvas displaying a heart shape containing the peace symbol, all made with red handprints.

“This is asking for peace between the two peoples,” said pensioner Renee Sanchez, 67, as she walked by. “That’s what we all want. Let everyone live their lives and forget about so much hatred.”

Colomina, who was not present at the site, told Reuters that he chose Barcelona because it was a “city where street art shines out to the world”.

The display was removed by construction workers after about four hours.

Colomina’s red statues of Russian President Vladimir Putin riding a toy tank have appeared in playgrounds in various parks around the world, such as New York City’s Central Park, London’s Regent’s Park or Rome’s Villa Borghese gardens.

(Reporting by Nacho Doce and Horaci Garcia; Writing by David Latona; Editing by Toby Chopra)