THE MADRID regional government will next month begin work to dismantle the monument in Atocha station commemorating the victims of the 2004 terrorist attacks in the Spanish capital. The plan is to install a new homage to the 192 people who died, in what was the worst ever such attack on European soil.
The news was announced on Wednesday by the regional authorities during a meeting with reporters to explain the plans for Line 11 of the Metro de Madrid subway system. The line will pass through Atocha station, which will be the home of the new monument to the 11-M attacks, as they are commonly known in Spain in reference to the date of the attacks, on March 11.
The current monument occupies around 440 square metres, according to figures cited by the Europa Press news agency, whereas the new one will be increased to some 1,993 square metres.
The 2004 bombings involved a series of coordinated attacks targeting trains on the Cercanias commuter system in Madrid. The explosions went off more or less simultaneously, killing 192 people and injuring around 2,000.
Subsequent investigations found the attacks to have been perpetrated by a cell inspired by Al-Qaeda in response to Spain’s participation in and support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The monument to the victims has been a controversial one, due to the lukewarm reception it received from victims given its design, to the lack of upkeep it has enjoyed from the Madrid authorities.
The new monument will be prepared ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks, which will be commemorated next March.