Madrid, (EFE).- The Prado Museum is investigating the original origin of 62 works of art that it keeps in its collections, probably seized during the Civil War and the Franco regime, 25 of which came from the General Commissariat of the national artistic heritage, created in 1939.
On the 20th, the Prado published a list with these 25 works from its collection and announced that it would open an investigation to find out if there are other pieces in the same situation and, if necessary, “and respecting all legal requirements, proceed to return them to their rightful owners.
For now, there are 62 detected and the Prado does not expect to locate more, according to sources Efe of the Pinacoteca, who clarified that they were not aware that there was a claim to any of these works.
On 22 of them, their origin was already expressly indicated in the public file on the museum’s website, while the remaining three pieces had no file due to their poor state of preservation. What the museum has done now is consolidate all available information into a document that is also accessible on the web.
The investigation opened by the Prado, and which will be led by the professor and specialist in this subject Arturo Colorado, aims to clarify any doubts that may exist about the substance and context before its entry into the Prado collections.
And the museum will apply the law if there is an injustice that can be repaired, after the corresponding claims are filed and there is a court decision, the same sources explained.
62 works awaiting investigation
More specifically, the Prado Museum preserves 62 works related to the General Commission for National Artistic Heritage (created in 1939) or the Council for the Seizure and Protection of Artistic Heritage (created in 1936).
Among these, it has 25 works assigned to its collections (23 paintings, 1 fruit bowl and a clock) which come from the General Commission for National Artistic Heritage which, in turn, should have come from those seized for safeguarding by the seizure and protection. Art Heritage Board during the Civil War, the museum explained.
In addition, it has 11 paintings (deposited between 1936 and 1939) by the Council for the seizure of artistic treasures and 26 other paintings, generally very deteriorated, deposited on unknown dates by this same council.
Some works carry allusive information about the origin before their seizure, although in most cases the individual owner is unknown, either due to lack of information from the heirs themselves, or due to the exile of the families, among other circumstances. .
Of the 25, 17 are paintings that were delivered to the Prado Museum by the General Commission for National Artistic Heritage between 1940 and 1942, while 5 arrived at the Modern Art Museum of the General Commission for National Artistic Heritage (1942) , that they were part of the collections of the Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art (1968-1971).
There is also one that was delivered to the Museum of Modern Art, from the General Commissariat of National Artistic Heritage (1943), but which remained in the Museum of Contemporary Art and went to the Museum of the National Center of Art Reina Sofía, from where it was attached to the Prado Museum in 2016 due to a reorganization of the collections. And there is also a bowl of fruit and a clock from the General Commissariat from 1972.
The museum recalls that all information on the origin of 25 of these works is also accessible to all citizens via the Collection channel on the Prado Museum website.
And he explains that since 2017, historians and those interested in the evolution of works of art during the Spanish Civil War and the dictatorship or those possibly affected by the seizures and returns of works of art during this period, can access content curated on this subject in the Digital Archive’s “Civil War” collection, which contains 286 files.
The Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, also asked all national museums to carry out a task similar to that of the Prado so that “all the works available to official state entities and bodies have their origin accredited “so that, if there has been an abusive seizure, open a return procedure.
The government recently decided to return to the family of the shipowner Ramón de la Sota two works requisitioned by the Franco regime, after one of his heirs identified them at the Parador de Almagro (Ciudad Real).