March 6, 2021

Javier Solana, new president of the Board of the Prado Museum


The Board of the Prado Museum chose yesterday, in an extraordinary meeting, its new president: Javier Solana. The position had been vacant since March 6 due to the sudden death at the age of 78 of José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, one of the fathers of the Constitution, who had been at the head of this organization since 2012. Under his mandate, they undertook the activities of the Bicentennial, which are being held since the end of 2018, and Fra Angelico's "La virgen de la granada" was also acquired. In addition to being one of the great impetus for the pinacoteca obtained the recognition that has meant receiving the Princess of Asturias Award, which will be delivered next October.

Javier Solana occupied different ministries and positions of responsibility during the successive governments of Felipe González. Thus, she was in charge of the portfolios of Culture, Education and Science, Foreign Affairs and the spokesperson of the Government. But, above all, he is remembered, above all, for being a high representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and commander of the Eufor. After several comments, murmurs and conjectures, in which there was speculation about the possibility that a woman could access this position (there was talk of Alicia Koplowitz, who, precisely, had donated to the collection the portrait of "Josefa del Águila Ceballos , then Marquesa de Espejo "(1852), by Federico Madrazo). But, in the end, Javier Solana has been chosen, a man who had already established links with El Prado and who knows him well enough. In fact, throughout the eighties it helped that it is an independent institution, although dependent on the Ministry of Culture, a determining factor in the way to the future of these rooms and which, therefore, has shaped its new design.

Solana, that due to the intermediation of Ángeles González Sinde, entered as a member of the Board in 2010, has developed a huge cultural work in our country. In fact, in May 1986, he was the one who inaugurated the Reina Sofía Art Center, which has become one of the museum references of the capital and the country. He has also been a key person so that the Thyssen Collection ended up being installed in Madrid. In fact, he was responsible for the agreement that was signed at the end of the eighties. Javier Solana was also a bizarre case, but very important, to intervene in the recovery of a work that was in England: the portrait made by Francisco de Goya of the Marquise de Santa Cruz, who now resides in our country.

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