Barcelona phone booth library vandalised a day after opening

Booth, which first opened on Saturday, is being repaired after vandals painted it with graffiti and stole screen

Barely a day after it opened, Barcelona’s smallest lending library has been forced to close after it was attacked by vandals.

Barcelona’s last surviving classic glass box telephone booth, which has been converted into a miniature book exchange, information centre and mobile charging point, opened on Saturday, when Catalans celebrate their patron Saint Jordi (Saint George) by exchanging gifts of books and roses.

Two days later the damage was being repaired after vandals painted the booth with graffiti and stole the small screen displaying information about local events.

“We expect those responsible to pay for these intolerable and unjustifiable acts,” Jaume Collboni, the deputy mayor said. “There is no place for vandalism in Barcelona.”

The classic glass box booth, the last of its kind in the city, was remodelled and installed outside the civic centre in Sant Genís dels Agudells on the north-west edge of the city.

Using a code available on request from the civic centre, citizens gain access via a keypad to the booth’s 200 books while at the same time charging their mobiles.

The booth is ventilated and at its inauguration was said to be both vandal- and graffiti-proof. It was moved from its original location nearby to the Plaça Meguidó, close to the Casa Groga civic centre that manages it. The miniature library is expected to reopen soon.

Spain’s first public telephone was installed in the Retiro park in Madrid over 100 years ago but this year Telefónica, the company responsible, plans to remove the 14,824 wall-mounted phones that remain in the country, 500 of them in Barcelona.

Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST

Mobile phones have made them redundant and Telefónica estimates that it costs €4.5m (£3.8m) a year to maintain the network, despite a study by the Spanish stock exchange commission published last year that found that only 1% of Spaniards had used a public telephone in the previous year and on average only one call a week is made from public phone boxes.

Des de @bcn_ajuntament iniciem el procés de reparació dels danys soferts sobre la #Bibliocabina, restaurada i reubicada amb un cost de 70.000€. Una iniciativa sorgida del moviment veïnal i associatiu del barri, que volem que esdevingui un símbol cultural de Sant Genís i de BCN

— Jaume Collboni (@jaumecollboni) April 26, 2022

Tolerància zero a l’incivisme. Des de @bcn_ajuntament interposarem denúncia de l’atac contra la #bibliocabina de Sant Genís dels Agudells. Uns fets injustificables i intolerables, que volem que els/les responsables paguin. A Barcelona no té cabuda el vandalisme 👇🏽

— Jaume Collboni (@jaumecollboni) April 26, 2022


Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Barcelona honours Gabriel García Márquez with new library
The Colombian Nobel laureate, who lived in the city from 1967-75, is to have a €12m building specialising in Latin American literature named after him

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

17, Apr, 2022 @8:00 AM

Article image
Spain's national library director in bad books over stolen Galileo treatise
Ana Santos asked to account for why it took four years to report theft of Sidereus Nuncius

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

15, Mar, 2021 @1:25 PM

Article image
Hermitage Museum proposal divides Barcelona authorities
City council rejects scheme to open branch of Russian institution after port authority gave the go-ahead

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

30, May, 2021 @10:47 AM

Article image
Violence erupts after pro-Catalan general strike in Barcelona
Protesters set fire to bins and chant ‘The streets will always be ours’ in fifth night of rioting

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona and Sam Jones in Madrid

18, Oct, 2019 @5:13 PM

Article image
Barcelona announces 'drastic' rickshaw cutback
Estimates put total around 2,000 but vehicles remain in regulatory vacuum

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

15, Aug, 2019 @11:44 AM

Article image
Calls for Keith Haring mural to stay at Barcelona site being turned into care home
Artwork in building slated for demolition faces uncertain future, though city has pledged to save it

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

06, Jun, 2021 @2:15 PM

Article image
Barcelona school removes 200 sexist children's books
Other schools look to follow after Tàber school takes out one-third of its collection, deeming the books ‘highly stereotypical and sexist’

Alison Flood

18, Apr, 2019 @12:47 PM

Article image
‘I can’t leave all 10,000 to my son’: the bookshop selling one man’s lifetime collection
Albert Costa, 83, did not want his books to end up in a flea market so opened his own shop in Barcelona

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

22, Apr, 2022 @12:49 PM

Article image
Spain announces plans for flying taxi service in Barcelona
First air taxis to fly in Catalan capital and Santiago de Compostela in 2022, says Enaire

Sam Jones in Madrid

05, Nov, 2020 @1:20 PM

Article image
Barcelona to open southern Europe's biggest low-emissions zone
City bans most polluting vehicles from area 20 times the size of Madrid’s zone

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

31, Dec, 2019 @12:55 PM