Dimarts  13.05.2014  12:06

Symbolic tree, representing Catalan Countries, vandalized

One of the three trunks of the tree—which is a symbol of the unity of the Catalan Countries—was sawed off and laid across the road.


The symbolic Pi de les Tres Branques (Three Branch Pine Tree) was found this morning with one of its branches sawed off, and laid across the road. Twitter users in Berga, in north-central Catalonia, were the first to report the incident, publishing photographs on social networks. The Castellar del Riu municipal government has informed VilaWeb that the branch was removed with a saw, and thus it was an intentional act, not an accident. For now, the council doesn't have additional information about who might have been involved. Today at 4pm in the afternoon, the mayor will formally present a complaint at the police station. The city government will consider what to do with the sawed off branch of the tree, which is a symbol of the unity of the Catalan Countries.

In declarations to the Catalan News Agency, the mayor of Castellar del Riu, Adrià Soler, said that this act of vandalism may have something to do with the sovereignty process. "I believe that is true because last year when we held the festival of the Three Branch Pine Tree, we found graffiti on the tree," he recalled.

The symbolism behind the Three Branch Pine Tree

Jacint Verdaguer made the tree famous with his poem, "The Pine Tree with Three Branches" in which he depicted King Jaume I stretched out at its base dreaming that he would become King of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, and Mallorca. Every third Sunday in July, there is a pro-independence celebration around the tree, whose base is five meters (15 feet) wide with a single trunk from which the three branches emerge, symbolizing the Catalan Countries.


"Pi de les Tres Branques" quickly became a trending topic on Twitter as the news spread. Carme Forcadell, leader of the ANC, characterized the attack as a provocation: