The ambitious expansion of the Prado receives 36 million outside the Budgets


The expansion and remodeling of the Prado Museum comes six years late, but it does. It will last until 2024 and will cost 36 million euros to the State divided into annual items. The Council of Ministers approved this Tuesday a special credit line for the rehabilitation and adaptation of the Prado Museum of the Salón de Reinos del Prado. In this way, the Ministry of Culture requests a legal shortcut with which it is not necessary to include them in the General Budgets. The bills are currently negotiating between the coalition with some differences between PSOE and United We Can. Until now, the lack of budget agreements had been a stumbling block, but the Prado is not expecting more.

The three items into which the 36 million euros are divided will be organized as follows: 8,315,000 euros for 2022, 20,483,000 euros for 2023 and 7,202,000 euros for 2024. For its part, the Prado Museum will It has agreed to cover small expenses such as the emptying of the building. In addition to the 36 million, the Council of Ministers collects that a disbursement of 2.1 million euros has already been processed and that they plan to cure others worth 1.4 million until 2024.

The project, declared “of urgency and exceptional public interest” by Culture, will be carried out by the architecture studio of the British Norman Foster and the Spanish Carlos Rubio. Both were selected in 2016, during the Mariano Rajoy period, to undertake an expansion of the Salón de Reinos – the old Army Museum that was attached to the Prado in 2015 -. With this, the art gallery will add 5,700 square meters in the vicinity of the Retreat, of which 2,600 will be used to house exhibitions.

The previous extension was that of the Jerónimos building by Rafael Moneo, completed in 2007, which incorporated 15,715 square meters of surface (50% more) and had another exhibition space for the conservation and custody of works. Then, the Prado already became the fifth largest museum in the world.

UNESCO’s push

The expansion and rehabilitation of the Salón de Reinos wanted to be carried out before the bicentennial of the Prado Museum, in 2020. But the lack of budgets and the pandemic delayed it. The project is part of the ambitious strategy Prado campus, which includes the pedestrianization of several streets that surround the main museum – from Paseo de la Castellana to the Retiro Park – and connect them with the other buildings of its property, such as the Salón de Reinos, Villanueva, los Jerónimos and the Casón del Buen Retirement.

This expansion, in turn, was linked to the candidacy of the Prado-Recoletos Axis as a World Heritage Site, qwhich was added to the UNESCO list on July 25.

Norman Foster and Carlos Rubio’s proposal was presented under the slogan Hidden Trace and it aims to “make the most of the museum use in the building and create a large access atrium on the south façade, giving this space a semi-open character that is permeable to the outside.” In addition, it proposes that the third floor of the Salón de Reinos be higher and wider than the current one and that it have a terrace that faces the campus.



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