The Peace Dove of Nestor Basterretxea

Nestor Basterretxea knew a few things about violence and hate. Son of a nationalist republican politician, he lived 17 years exiled in France, Casablanca and Argentina. His family´s house in Bermeo was used for 37 years as a police station for Franco´s regime. He also analyzed, with questional and very mordant tone, the terrorist movement and its consequences in the Basque Country.

La Paloma de la Paz de Nestor Basterretxea


From all of those experiences he developed in the late 80s the project “Bakearen usoa” (Peace Dove) that Basterretxea designed. A bird with a wingspan of 9 metres with an industrial design that still looks like the shape of a dove, and that the artist made capable to stand the waves and the strong winds that the basque shore knows so well. A piece that was born as a political statement, it is a cry against violence. 

( Photo: Nestor Basterretxea / )

This is a piece” claimed the author in a press conference “that stands against all of the violent ones, a way of saying that we always have to use our words and our thoughts, that violence itself is a failure and that achieving freedom, which is life, using death means incurring in an incredibly deep contradiction”.

Located in origin in the old Zurriola Walk, it stayed for years in front of the Anoeta football stadium, but 4 years ago it returned to the shore, now in the field of Sagües. Out of the three works of art (the other two being the Wind Comb and Empty Structure) that populate the city´s shore, Bakearen usoa is the one with the most tumultuous life, because of its origins and the way it has moved around. It is also linked with the current peaceful time, located next to the sea… with views towards the beautiful Cantabric horizon and its incredible sunsets . We are really aware of the beauty of the place, as we like to go there during our bike tours.