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MNAC considers renaming and adding ‘Barcelona’ to promote its image abroad

The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Catalonia’s National Museum of Art) is considering changing its name to include ‘Barcelona’. The Museum Director, Pepe Serra, wants to better explain the Museum to a global audience and considers using the “Barcelona brand” as a superior way of raising the gallery’s status. Also he believes the collections of Romanesque art, which are considered exceptional, have not been sufficiently exploited on an international level. The Museum Director also announced that despite the crisis, they will open up “many more areas for free”.


10 August 2012 10:44 PM



Barcelona (ACN).\u2013 The Director of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), Pepe Serra, has announced that they are considering changing the name in order to \u201Cexplain themselves better\u201D. He said that on a global level, \u201Cwe can\u2019t go around calling ourselves MNAC and neglecting the \u2018Barcelona\u2019 brand\u201D. In an interview with Catalunya Ràdio (Catalonia\u2019s Public Radio Broadcaster), he gave the example of the National Gallery in London or the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, citing that \u201Ceverybody knows what they are\u201D without putting the United Kingdom or the USA. For Serra, when the gallery \u201Cgoes global\u201D it should incorporate the word Barcelona, considering \u2018Catalonia\u2019 redundant because it is already referred to in \u2018national\u2019. Furthermore, he believes the collections of Romanesque and Gothic art have not been sufficiently exploited internationally.

Serra believes that the MNAC\u2019s main challenge is to \u201Cbelieve in itself\u201D. \u201CWe can not say that we have the best collection of Romanesque art in the world and not export it. Those from Madrid should come and see it here and we\u2019ll export it to Central Europe\u201D, he stated.

According to the MNAC\u2019s Director, the Picasso \u2018brand\u2019 for example, is \u201Cvery important\u201D and the MNAC has made ??a \u201Csignificant effort\u201D in this sense. \u201CWe have collections of a high level but we do not have iconic works. We are not known enough,\u201D he said.

Serra believes that with lower contributions from the public sector it is \u201Cmore necessary than ever to open up many more areas for free\u201D. The Director also regrets that in terms of art there is \u201Cdiscriminatory treatment of Catalonia\u201D with a bias towards Madrid. \u201CEverything is placed in Madrid, therefore we have a lot to do,\u201D he proclaimed.

Regarding the relationship with CaixaFòrum, Serra explained that they must work together \u201Cto clean up the system\u201D. \u201CI congratulate la Caixa for the work it has done but considering the current situation we have to be better integrated with the public system\u201D he stressed. Also he stated \u201Cwhile MNAC is 10\u20AC and la Caixa\u2019s exhibitions are free, the work [promoting the museum] will be much more difficult\u201D.

Finally, Serra - who is radically opposed to the VAT increase for the cultural sector, considering it a \u201Chuge\u201D error - believes the museum should move closer to the city and occupy an area in Fira de Barcelona\u2019s Montjuic venue (one of Europe\u2019s most prominent trade shows and exhibition spaces) as well as completely embrace contemporary art.


  • MNAC's building in Barcelona's Montjuic hill (by R. Pagano)

  • MNAC's building in Barcelona's Montjuic hill (by R. Pagano)