Barcelona smell: Agricultural park in Baix Llobregat blamed for stink hanging over Spanish city

Residents reported a manure-like smell on Wednesday afternoon

Alastair Dawber
Friday 20 November 2015 19:00 GMT
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The city of Barcelona has been plagued by putrid stench for the last two days
The city of Barcelona has been plagued by putrid stench for the last two days (Getty)

They may disagree over Catalan independence but the citizens of Barcelona have united to ask another question: what’s that smell?

For two days, Spain’s second city has been under something of a cloud, with residents reporting a lingering putrid stink. Officials have blamed a local agricultural park, but its owners say they have not done anything out of the ordinary.

An investigation has pinned the blame on spilled fertiliser in the nearby Baix Llobregat county, according to The Local website.

“El Prat de Llobregat town hall confirms that the smell in Barcelona and surrounding areas comes from the agricultural park in Baix Llobregat,” officials said after receiving a barrage of enquiries on social media about the odour.

But the farmers said that they spread manure over only a small area on Wednesday and that it was insufficient to cause a smell that would affect the entire city. And unnamed agricultural officials admitted to La Vanguardia newspaper that it was likely to have some other cause, saying that “all hypotheses are open”.

Residents reported a manure-like smell on Wednesday afternoon, and the stink now even has its own hashtag on Twitter, #MalOlorBcn.

One company, Kukuxumusu, known for the lively cartoons on its clothing and other products, tweeted several images to depict the smell, from a steaming pile of excrement to sheep gathered around a huge mountain of dung.

Even with the whiff lingering, Barcelona will stand still for the city football club’s clash against Real Madrid in El Clasico on Saturday. Should the team lose the game, which will take place in Spain’s capital, there will be another almighty stink to deal with – but this time at least the local farmers will not get the blame.

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