MALLORCA.- King Juan Carlos yesterday visited the Museo Modernista de Can Prunera (Can Prunera Modern Museum), in Soller (Mallorca), which opened last Monday in a modern house in Sierra de Tramuntana. The new museum houses a permanent collection with works by Picasso, Miró, Basquiat and Rusiñol.
King Juan Carlos of Spain was presented with a portrait of him painted in the 1950s by artist Antonio Calvo Carrión.
The King was welcomed by art collector and communication mogul Pedro Serra, owner of the Works of art on view at Can Prunera, as well as the president and vice-president of Ferrocarril de Soller, Óscar Mayol and Amador Pastor; the director of the museum Antonia Mora, and the daughter of the collector Carmen Serra.
Pedro Serra explained to the King that the portrait belongs to an era when the Monarch, who spends his vacations every year in Mallorca, visited Soller frequently.
This union between the King and the town in Mallorca will remain, as Serra said, forever in the museum.
Afterwards, the King visited the three floors of the arts center, located in a modern house owned by Ferrocarril de Soller, where antique furniture and a collection of dolls are also exhibited.
Can Prunera has received since its opening last Monday, almost 10,000 visitors, and yesterday approximately 1,900, according to museums director.
The initiative to purchase, restore and turn this beautiful example of Modernist architecture into a museum has been undertaken by Fundació Tren de lArt (an entity linked to the Sóller railway concessionaire), the Sóller Town Council, the Balearic Government and European Union funds.
Foundation Tren de l'Art was created in early 2006 to disseminate art and culture. Some of its achievements include converting coach houses at Palmas railway station into exhibition halls, restoring Sóllers railway station, acquiring the Can Prunera building and outfitting the Can Pizà textile factory as a cultural venue. The Sóller and Palma Town Councils, in addition to the Ferrocarril de Sóller firm and Successió Miró, which represents the interests of artist Joan Mirós heirs, participate in the Foundation. Successió Mirós participation encourages the presence of works by the engaging artist in the Foundations initiatives. Fundació d'Art Serra also lends major pieces from its collection, since Pere Serra presides over both entities.
As a museum, Can Prunera has a permanent Modernist art collection with works by national and international artists who were part of that artistic movement or inspired by it and an especial representation of local artists or those related to the islands. In addition to temporary exhibition halls, it has a specialised art library that displays books illustrated by Joan Miró. Its gardens also serve as a stage for concerts and other cultural events.
The Can Prunera building, built between 1909 and 1911, is an Asset of Cultural Interest that has been faithfully restored to recover the splendour of the artistic elements that make it up. It is also a magnificent exponent of the valley of Sóllers economic splendour, which propitiated the construction of other admirable buildings in the city. Mural paintings in polychrome reliefs, glasswork, furniture and elements such as the spectacular staircase and façade are well worth a visit from architecture lovers.