Aterpe - CODAworx


Client: Basque Government

Location: Bilbao, Spain

Completion date: 2006

Artwork budget: $167,925

Project Team


Juanjo Novella

Novella Arte Publico S.L.


Inaki Ruiz Laka

SAF - Sabino Arana Fundazioa


Into the Historical Memory Program was developed the ATERPE project. Aterpe means SHELTER in Basque language. It was created a huge fingerprint as a memory of the warriors who defended the democracy in 1936 against the fascism. It was chosen a fingerprint as a human landmark, as a shelter of defense and as a kind of maze which talks about the human values. Steel of 40 mm thickness, 6 meters high and 12 tons weight.


the main goal was integrate the subject of civil war in a proper way, without unnecessary pains and with all the respect to any kind of sensibilities.
In order to integrate the project in the stunning landscape of the balcony of Artxanda, BILBAO, was choosen a very transparent sculture and exciting at the same time.


Collaboration among the artist and the local authorities, the Basque Government, and representatives of all the politics groups was very deep and close. A lot of meetings and public displays talking about the project allows total unity of action in the develop of the sculpture. Those collaborations lasted one whole year and the success was complete. Thousands of people were to the opening and the mass media treated the subject during long time.