The Prado Museum
held a press conference to explain the rearrangement and expansion of its permanent collection and also presented, in the presence of culture minister Cesar Antonio Molina, the first official guide to the museum.
Since the expansion was inaugurated, at the end of 2007, the museum has seen a significant increase in visitors, In 2007 the museum welcomed 2,663,174 visitors while in 2008 it received 2,760,000 persons.
The museum will reorganize its exhibition halls in the next four years to show more than 500 works from its collection, in a plan that will keep Velazquez in the central gallery and will increment Goyas presence on three floors of the museum.
The Collection: The other Expansion at the Prado is one of the main projects detailed in the 2009-2012 Action Plan, which establishes the foundations on how to approach a wider presentation and to see the collection in the best conditions as a consequence of the recovery of 25% of the exhibition space made through the relocation of several departments to the new spaces in the projected expansion designed by Rafael Moneo.
Gabriele Finaldi, associate director, explained the details of the expansión of the museum, that will allow a more logical route, grouping the different schools.
The reorganization will be made at different stages and it will be in four years when the visitor will be able to contemplate the finished project envisioned by the executives at the Prado.
The new route has been designed in a curl and gives meaning to the sequence of the various collections, according to Finaldi, who highlighted the importance of recuperating the halls to present more and better works of art, as is the case with Spanish medieval paintings which had been punished in the last few years due to the few spaces available.
The central gallery of the Villanueva building is one of the most beautiful spaces in the museum. Originally everything was exhibited in this gallery where 465 works of art could be seen, while today only 60 are on view.
It is in this space where where one of the novelties of the project will take place, according to Finaldi, where the walls will exhibit large format works of art.
The first part will show works from the Venetian collection, with large pictures by Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto and in relation to them, one of the halls that leads to the gallery will house works by El Greco.
Advancing through the gallery one arrives at the space that gives entrance to the hall that exhibits the Meninas, which will no longer be Hall 12 and will now be Hall 50. In this space there will be some works, still to be determined, by Velazquez.
Next, in the second part of the gallery, large format works made by Van Dyck and Rubens will be shown.
These exhibition spaces are "the first part of the reorganization which we will present probably next April", said Gabriele Finaldi.