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The world’s most important exhibition of Romanesque art opens again and this time, renovated

Catalonia’s National Museum of Art (MNAC) hosts the most important collection of Romanesque art in the world. It displays works from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, and some mural painting ensembles that are unique. After half a year of intense renovation, the Romanesque collection is on show again, with a new narrative.

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01 July 2011 01:29 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The most important collection in the world of Romanesque art is on show again. After half year of renovation works and a reorganisation of the collection, from this Thursday onwards it can be seen again in Catalonia\u2019s National Museum of Art (MNAC), in Barcelona. The operation has been carefully and calmly thought over a four year period through transversal and interdisciplinary research. The renovated exhibition offers a new narrative, with a clearer path that eases its understanding. It also emphasises the most relevant works of the collection, such as the Christ Pantocrator from Sant Climent de Taüll. According to MNAC\u2019s Director, Maria Teresa Ocaña, with this change, the museum \u201Creaches the level of the great museums of the world\u201D regarding the collection of art from this historic period. MNAC\u2019s Romanesque Art Curator-in-Chief, Jordi Camps, explains that the \u201Crenovation was necessary\u201D and effects mainly the lighting, how pieces are displayed, and the information about each work as well as the techniques to remove the paintings out of the original walls and ceilings. In fact, most of the works on show come from the Catalan Pyrenees, such as the Boí Valley, where there is an impressive collection of Romanesque churches, one of the highest and better preserved in the world, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.


MNAC\u2019s Romanesque Art collection is made up of works from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. It also shows a series of mural painting ensembles that are unique. Now, after six months of renovation, the world\u2019s most important collection of Romanesque Art is displayed in all its splendour.

There has been six months of intense work from the museum\u2019s area of Romanesque Art and the area of Restoration and Prevention Conservation. The renovation work followed four years of interdisciplinary and transversal research and reflection. It has been sponsored by the Mapfre Foundation. It has not affected the architectonic aspects of the space, but the work\u2019s lighting, preventing conservation systems, and energy efficiency aspects. The works have also been redistributed and displayed in a better and clearer way, separately and considering the exhibition\u2019s narrative. According to the museum\u2019s Deputy Director for Collections, Cristina Mendoza the renovation has focused \u201Ca bit in quantity, but a lot in quality\u201D.

The Curator-in-Chief of Romansque Art, Jordi Camps explained that the collection\u2019s re-arrangement was \u201Cabsolutely necessary\u201D because \u201Cmaterials have become old and they had to be renovated and updated\u201D. Camps feels particularly proud of the lighting improvement, \u201Cwhich makes that a large part of the space remains in semi-darkness\u201D and the art work shines in all its splendour.

In addition, Camps added that from now on, the visitor also has much more information on each art work and the techniques to remove the paintings from the original walls in order to be transported and shown at the museum. Actually, most of the works on show come from the Catalan Pyrenees, such as the Boí Valley, where there is an impressive collection of Romanesque churches, one of the highest and better preserved in the world, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Another improvement has been regarding the painting\u2019s gaps (the mural space that has lost the original painting). Those gaps have been filled with mortar made of sands coming from the same place as the treated paintings, such as Sant Joan de Boí or Sant Quirze de Pedret.

At the official opening, the Catalan Minsiter for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, stated that MNAC\u2019s staff has accomplished a \u201Cchange of scale\u201D, a change ensuring that \u201Chistoric art will always remain contemporary\u201D. Mascarell thanked the \u201Cgood job\u201D done by the museum to update and improve the display of one of the greatest heritages of Catalonia.

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  • The apse of Sant Climent de Taüll (by MNAC)

  • Goldsmithing works (by MNAC)

  • Painting on wood from La Seu d'Urgell from the 12th century's second quarter (by MNAC)

  • Paintings from Sorpe (by MNAC)

  • The apse of Sant Climent de Taüll (by MNAC)
  • Goldsmithing works (by MNAC)
  • Painting on wood from La Seu d'Urgell from the 12th century's second quarter (by MNAC)
  • Paintings from Sorpe (by MNAC)