Madrid will house a museum of the victims of terrorism in the old Ice Palace

Madrid will host a headquarters for the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism, along the lines of the one already opened in 2021 in Vitoria, but which will pay special attention to jihadist terrorism, in addition to that of ETA, as reported this morning by the Ministry of the Interior in a note. This kind of museum of the suffering of the victims will be installed in the Medinacelli Building, in the central neighborhood of Las Cortes, which opened in 1922 as the Ice Palace and was abandoned in 2007 after 82 years operating as an institute of the Higher Center for Scientific Research . The façade, in the French Renaissance style, has just been rehabilitated.

The Memorial Center arises from the Victims of Terrorism Law of 2011, widely agreed upon by the parties. It covers all the terrorism that Spain has suffered since June 1960, the date of the murder of the girl Begoña Urroz by a DRIL (Iberian Revolutionary Directorate of National Liberation) bomb in San Sebastián, until today. It includes the terror of ETA, the dirty war, the GRAPO and jihadism, without forgetting the very ephemeral DRIL, the anarchists and the FRAP.

The Vitoria headquarters was inaugurated on June 1, 2021 by the King and Queen and in its first year of life it has already received more than 30,000 visitors. By then it was already decided that Madrid would have its own headquarters “with special attention to jihadist terrorism, as Madrid was the scene of the largest attack recorded in Europe.” That is, for the murder of 193 people in the attack by Islamist radicals on four trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004 (including geo Francisco Javier Torronteras, murdered on April 3, 2004 in Leganés).

All that remained was to choose the venue. Finally, it will be located in the Medinaceli building, at the beginning of Calle del Duque de Medinaceli, which has 15,000 useful square meters built on a 3,500-square-meter plot and is easily recognizable for its monumental façade. Beaux Arts. The building was inaugurated in 1922 as the Ice and Automobile Palace, the work of the Belgian architect M. Edmond De Lune, a large leisure center on the side of the Palace hotel. It had an ice rink.

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But in 1928 it was acquired by the State to convert it into the Center for Historical Studies, after an interior reform by Pedro Muguruza, who converted the ice hockey rink into a patio. In 1940, after the founding of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the building housed the Humanities Institutes and the bookstore. The CSIC abandoned these facilities in 2007, which have remained in disuse ever since.

The project includes a permanent exhibition sample; an auditorium; a space for reflection, memory and offering, as well as enough space for temporary exhibitions and administrative units that manage the future activity of the headquarters.

Terrorism in Spain has caused 1,452 fatalities, according to data provided by the Ministry of the Interior. Of these, 412 were murdered in the Community of Madrid, which makes it the second Spanish community with the highest number of people murdered after the Basque Country. The distribution of these victims by terrorist groups is as follows, always according to the Government: 210 of these victims have died in jihadist-style attacks (11-M and the attack on the El Descanso restaurant in 1985), compared to 123 killed by ETA terrorists; 49 were victims of the GRAPO, the FRAP and other extreme left groups; 21 more fell at the hands of extreme right-wing groups, and nine murdered were victims of foreign groups without a stable presence in Spanish territory.

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