National Heritage wants to change the name to the Museum of Royal Collections

National Heritage does not like the name of the museum that accumulates seven years of delay in its inauguration. As this newspaper has learned, last March a search began for an alternative name for the unborn institution. The presidency went to three companies to find a new baptism for the Royal Collections Museum and opted for The Name of Things, an entity founded by the poet and namer of things Fernando Beltrán. His successes include, La Casa Encendida, Amena or the TEA museum (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes).

National Heritage has paid almost 18,149 euros for the naming work for the purpose of a "study of proposals for the name of the future museum of the Royal Collections". The contract was signed last March and, as has learned from sources in National HeritageA month ago, the creator presented to more than a dozen people about 20 possibilities to revitalize a stranded project with an opening date for the end of 2022, if another new delay is not announced before.

The institution seeks an identity that adapts to the new premises of a mission that has been changing with each new president, since the 1990s when the project for a museum that was to honor the Royal House began. At this time, the museum must "provide a unique cultural offer both in its collection exhibition halls and in temporary exhibitions, through a journey through the patronage and collecting work of the different kings of Spain, historically articulated by reigns ".

Among the new name proposals there is a complete range between the most conservative and the most daring, always maintaining the expression "royal collections", because it is the house brand. The president of National Heritage Ana de la Cueva has had the ideas on the table for a month and, for now, they have chosen three of the options presented. The last word must be agreed with Félix Bolaños, Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory of the Government. This newspaper has tried to find out the reason why the Presidency of National Heritage has decided to change the name to the Royal Collections Museum, but has not received a response.

The identity of the Royal Collections Museum is drafted and published. It aims to spread "the continuity of the monarchy symbolized in the royal collections". The museum that was conceived in the nineties must be an institution at the service of the Bourbons' propaganda. It is the "main instrument for the conservation, research, management and dissemination of the historical and artistic legacy of the Crown". Álvaro Fernández-Villaverde was the president of National Heritage who proposed the museum, in which there would only be tapestries and carriages... Nothing of that remains and it is not clear that the Royal Sites can be emptied to take the goods to Madrid.

In the midst of an identity crisis, the expression "royal collections" does not disappear from the proposals submitted by The Name of Things, despite the fact that this museum profile already exists with the Prado National Museum, formed by the assets collected by the monarchy . In the leadership of National Heritage they want to treat the renaming with great caution because "there are many sensitivities on the surface", say the sources consulted close to the operation of National Heritage. "In the presidency they move between the encouragement of a more daring name and the scare. It is very complicated," they add.

The building of 40,000 square meters (the Prado has 42,000) and a budget of 160 million euros has been empty for years. He has been given several architecture awards, including the 2017 FAD Award for his "absence of lyricism". The container is impeccable, but what about the content? In National Heritage they doubt how to occupy so many square meters. At this time Leticia Ruiz, director of the museum, is in charge of locating pieces on the three floors (with rooms 140 meters long and eight meters high), about the two dynasties of kings that occupied Spain for 15 centuries. The warehouses are already used, but there are no buried jewels in them.

Among the nearly 154,000 cataloged pieces there is nothing new to bring to light. They have Salome with the head of John the Baptist (1609), by Caravaggio; Christ on the cross (1654), by Bernini; or El Calvario (1457 and 1464), by Roger Van der Weyden, but they do not have an icon, some meninas or a guernica. Despite this, the calculations of the institution is that they will be able to generate 1.5 million annual visits, the same volume of visits generated by the neighboring Royal Palace, also managed by National Heritage.

To revive the project, Karina Marotta (Madrid, 1967), art historian and former General Coordinator of Conservation and Head of the Exhibition Area of ​​the Prado Museum, arrived at the National Heritage seven months ago. She now holds the position of Technical Advisor to the Presidency in the National Heritage Administration Council. She is the right hand of Ana de la Cueva and one of her goals is to give a 21st century sense to the museum that the architects Tuñón and Mansilla (1959-2012) delivered in December 2015. Her arrival has meant a revolution within the the monarchical institution, which owes him the idea of ​​finding a new name to fit a tribute to the monarchy in the worst moment of the Crown.

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