January 24, 2021

The Prado Museum, historic mission of Pérez Llorca | Culture

The Prado Museum, historic mission of Pérez Llorca | Culture

Whenever the Prado Museum celebrated a significant act it could be seen José Pedro Pérez-Llorca trying to take a back seat next to the museum director Miguel Falomir. Wearing a black hat and his hands tucked into the pockets of his coat, he greeted almost one by one the many journalists in charge of reporting on the act in question. Among jokes, always friendly and with much guasa, recommended to highlight some aspect of the news shift and when asked about specific aspects, invariably referred to the director.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2012, close collaborators say that after a political career as relevant as his, he considered the Prado a historic mission. That is why when the former vice president Soraya Sáez de Santamaría, of the Partido Popular, proposed it, she did not hesitate for a moment.

A very cultured and polyglot man, he resorted to the Italian when he had to express his displeasure with something. One of his colleagues remembers that a couple of months ago, during the weekend, he sent them an email in Italian. Then he would explain to the recipients of the email that he followed his father's advice: "If you have to scold, do it in Italian because it's such a beautiful language that it conceals the anger".

In addition to presiding over the meetings of the Board, at least once a week was allowed to be seen in the museum. Side by side he worked with Falomir to get the funds they did not receive from the Government to commemorate the bicentennial and the expansion of the Hall of Realms. That is why he received with joy the news that in the budgets of the Government of Pedro Sanchez included an extraordinary contribution of 30 million euros in four years, 75% for the works of the Hall of Realms, a satisfaction that soon evaporated with the call for general elections.

In its objectives it was as much to enlarge the museum as its collection. One of his best days at the Prado was lived when the acquisition of the Virgin of the pomegranate, considered one of the best works of Fra Angelico and Florentine painting of the first half of the fifteenth century, until then in the hands of the House of Alba.

Another of his latest achievements, achieved by his stubbornness and negotiating skills, was in October of last year, when he achieved the temporary deposit of The last communion of Saint Joseph of Calasanz, of Goya, owned by the Order of the Pious Schools. I was hopeful that the painting would be definitively ceded to the museum.

The life of the art gallery interested him greatly. One of his collaborators says that calls were frequent. Never to interfere in the life of the museum, but to offer to help or to comment anything that had happened in Spain or in the world.

Today, Wednesday, the day of his death, the Prado has issued a statement in which he emphasizes the intellectual brilliance of Pérez-Lorca, who "demonstrated in all stages of his prolific public life he knew how to transfer to the field of culture and management of the country's first cultural institution. " The note adds that "in his years at the head of the Board, he knew how to assert his talent, his fine intelligence and also his leadership ability to lead the Prado Museum to the place of privilege that today occupies in the hearts of Spaniards." Likewise, the works committee of the museum has disseminated a text highlighting its close and conciliatory character with all workers.


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