The Rolling Stones are back on tour in Spain. Sixty starts this Wednesday the 1st in the capital and will take them to 14 more European cities this summer. A musical opportunity for their fans and a promotional opportunity for the Madrid City Council, which boasted of having designed a route of essential activities around the city for them. This is how they kill two birds with one stone: they promote Madrid tourism and show off their chests for having won the precious –and millionaire– contract to host this start of the tour from among all the possible places in Europe (and Spain).
Dance in front of 'Guernica'
Such is the importance of this visit, that the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art opened its doors last Tuesday only for Mick Jagger and his team. The problem came when the group's vocalist uploaded a selection of photographs to social networks of him where he is seen posing in front of Picasso's Guernica, the jewel of the Reina Sofía. Museum rules prohibit any visitor from being photographed with the painting, but there are always exceptions.
Enjoying lots of what Madrid has to offer, from fallen angels to Flamenco! pic.twitter.com/43MBFkic54
— Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) May 31, 2022
A good part of the responses that Jagger's tweet has received mention this favored treatment, of which he will surely remain oblivious. "Demigod advantage," some pointed out. “They almost ripped my hand off the day I tried to photograph Guernica. But I'm not Mick Jagger, of course," said another user.
Sources from the museum admit to elDiario.es that they found the photo on the singer's profile and that, at the moment, they do not plan to echo the snapshot on their own networks. They assure that it is not a promotional strategy, like the one they did in 2016 with actor Pierce Brosnan. In that case, it was the Twitter account of the Reina Sofía that posted the photo – “Our Guernica has received a visit from the cinema” – but the criticism did not wait either and the institution issued a statement.
“This is an initiative that seeks to promote knowledge of the work and the museum, both inside and outside of Spain, and to take advantage of the opportunity that a person from the world of culture has decided to visit the Reina Sofía during their stay. in Madrid”, said the note. Now, with Jagger, they admit that the promotion may be a side effect, but that it was never intended. Although the Reina Sofia has lost half its visitors since 2016have not resorted to the rock star to alleviate this decline.
The art gallery alleges that the rule was not issued to protect the work but to improve the comfort of visitors. They recognize that the painting does not suffer because the most frequent cameras are those of the mobile and do not use the flash. Nor is it due to a question of rights, since the work is one of the most reproduced in the Spanish imaginary and artistic space without them receiving any compensation.
“It is a matter of the quality of the visit, because people stayed for a quarter of an hour taking photos or the selfie sticks were given to other people,” these sources say. The image they describe is the one that is given every day in front of Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in the Louvre. Dozens of people crowded in front of the painting, putting their arms out between their heads and struggling to pose next to the Italian's muse. Such is the agglomeration, that last weekend the glass that covers the work received a cake from a visitor without the security guards in the room warning him.
🚨😱 Attack on the Mona Lisa in the Louvre!!😱🚨
A man dressed in a wig and wheelchair tried to break the protective glass and then threw a cake at Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. pic.twitter.com/hxQdH4Hs5u
— I SAW IT ON THE NETWORKS (@LoVi_EnLasRedes) May 30, 2022
Jagger did not have this problem, nor was it for anyone else, because the visit was done in private for his team. He was accompanied by the director of the art gallery, Manuel Borja-Villel. The museum also warns that they receive millions of visits every day and that they do not persecute "everyone who wants to take a picture." For this reason, they declare, there are ordinary visitors who also have their postcard in front of Guernica and in the remaining 90% of the museum, where they are allowed. "We try not to give it too much importance," they say.
This room at the Reina Sofía has also been loaned on occasions for events, such as last National Dance Day, where the National Ballet Company performed in front of the painting, or for institutional visits. Last October, the Picasso Commission posed with her and, in 2020, President Pedro Sánchez visited it together with his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte, and the museum let visitors photographers from La Moncloa will immortalize the moment.