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"The catastrophe last night. Spain mourns. Fire in the Museo del Prado ".

So she reads the headline of the newspaper El Liberal day 25 November 1891. It was a fictional article published by the journalist Mariano Cavia. At, the destruction of the Museo del Prado was counted by a fire in the attic of the building where employees and dependents living. The next day, the locals came to the place alarmed, and the newspaper published a new article on the front page of the same journalist titled "Why has torched the Prado Museum" justifying that "We invented a catastrophe, to avoid ". effectively, in 1891 They lived in the basement of the Museum employees and their dependents, their wives and children, who they scuttled by the agencies freely.

Two days later, Spanish Development Minister ordered that deposits wood vaciasen basements, and that the use of candles were replaced by lanterns. Moreover, He ordered the eviction of the attics where employees heated food with hot plates.

Juan de Villanueva was the architect of the Prado Museum. His project was approved by King Carlos III in 1786, and it was completed in the early nineteenth century, but with the arrival of French troops to Spain, and the War of Independence, It was earmarked for military purposes ( It was specifically cavalry barracks) used lead sheet roofs, for the manufacture of bullets.

Late 1819, in times of the reign of Ferdinand VII, It was reopened as the Royal Museum of Paintings, counting on 311 paintings exhibited in three rooms that serve on the one hand, to show the works owned by the crown and on the other, Europe to teach the existence of a school in Spain as worthy of merit like any other global.

In the beginning, the Museum opened two or three days a week and closed whenever it rained, as well as in days, people came to the museum to shelter, however it, It was the only public building several hundred meters around. It is also curious that certain rooms were unpaved, and in those days of rain it was frequent the muddy. Summer days, dust was removed irrigating the soil with water, but soon Matting and then wooden platform was installed in almost every room. For obvious security issues, the stage was replaced by marble after years 30.

Destronada Isabel II, the Royal Museum became National, and by decree of May 1920 It was renamed the Museo Nacional del Prado, integrating it works and funds from other Spanish institutions.

The budget for the year 2012 it was of 44 million, of the 63%, They correspond to revenue generated by the Museum. Only entries, with a non stop event of 2012, They were raised 10 million.

Your funds have been incorporated in different ways: On the one hand inheritances and legacies donations, for another, the State itself and its policy of acquiring works of art. Not only for direct purchases, but also as a form of tax, thus enriching the collections of very remarkable.


a Fable (El Greco)

One of the most significant legacies was recently conducted by Manuel Villaescusa 1991 amounting 7000 million pesetas, or about 4.300 million that served to buy the box A Fable, El Greco, or the Countess of Chinchon, Goya, inter alia.

but maybe, the most famous work entered the Prado in the twentieth century, was the Guernica, bequeathed by its author Pablo Picasso. For its meaning and artistic significance, It is certainly the linchpin of contemporary art. That painting was commissioned by the Spanish Republican government to the painter as a result of the bombing of Guernica City, which it was completely destroyed. Its monochrome tones symbolize one hand the passive suffering of the innocent in any armed confrontation, and also the moral victory of the defeated.

It is an oil on canvas 351 x 782 cm, one of the most monumental canvases painted between the first half of the twentieth century.

Guernica (Pablo Picasso)

In 1996 He was questioned the safety of the gallery after the discovery of an alien to the collection box unnoticed four days. The architect of the mockery was the painter Víctor Ruiz, to get silicone hang one of his paintings in the room where Flemish paintings exhibited by then.

Prado collection, now has more than 7.600 paintings, 1000 sculptures, 4800 prints and 8200 drawings. Present day, The museum exhibits at its headquarters, just over 1300 works and other 3.100 They are as temporary storage in other museums . The rest is preserved in its stores. The Prado has one of the most important art collections across Europe and not only by the number of his works, but especially for the quality of these.