The sculptor's son talks about the reopening of the space in April and the improvements that this unique art center will host, which since 2011 could only be visited by appointment.
Eduardo Chillida had several dreams. He was able to fulfill some of them, such as opening a space dedicated to art in Zabalaga, Guipúzcoa, with monumental works from his hands. Others, such as piercing the sacred mountain of Tindaya (Fuerteventura), still hope to become a reality. The first one became an open-air museum opened in 2000 and that closed its doors on January 1, 2011 due to a budgetary problem. He was the first victim of art at a particularly complicated time in the world of culture. There were several attempts to refloat it a few months later. There was talk of the spring of that year so that it would be what it was again. The family studied what would be the best management model for the art center, exclusively private, once they received their proposals from the Basque Department of Culture. The family never lost hope that it would reopen its doors again to the Chillida Leku public. Luis, one of his children, knew that this moment would come. That it was only a matter of time. The news of the reopening was welcomed with joy in the world of
culture. And he responds after a tiring day.
-Why does it reopen to the public now, in the month of April?
-In reality, the museum has never been completely closed, since 2011 it could only be visited by appointment. However, it was our desire to be able to resume full operation and we have worked hard to achieve this. It will be in April, when all the renovation work is over and when we will be ready to welcome the public again, that Chillida Leku will be able to enjoy Chillida's dream.
-What changes have been made to open the public?
-During the last six months the facilities have been remodeled, maintaining the vision that the Aita had for the museum. The hamlet of the sixteenth century, which was restored in its day remains as it was conceived by him and we have only had to, having only updated the lighting by a more modern and museum. The reception infrastructures and services for visitors have been carefully restored, including the renovation of the visitor center, the creation of a café and a store.
-To what extent have the Basque institutions made it possible for Chillida Leku to open again?
-We are very happy because the attitude of the institutions is being extremely positive and the support is total. This has already materialized, for example, in the support of the Department of Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sport of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, which, during the work of tuning, has provided spaces for the custody and temporary storage of the works that were exhibited in the museum in Gordailua, the Patrimonial Collections Center of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.
-What is the role that the Hauser & Wirth gallery has played and will play?
-For the reopening of Chillida Leku, the family has counted on this with the help, advice and experience of Hauser & Wirth, the gallery that holds the universal representation of the work of Eduardo Chillida and that, therefore, works to safeguard the legacy of the artist. Hauser & Wirth has a great professional team and has 26 years of experience in the representation of artists and legacies, tackling in a very individualized way the needs of each succession, for which we are very happy to be able to work with them.
– Is this new stage going to reopen with some act or special exhibition?
-It is still too early to announce the program for the inauguration, because we are working on it. The first exhibition will focus on the works of Eduardo Chillida in all its amplitude.
-How was the work with Mireia Massagué, the new director of the space?
-We are delighted to have her and we believe that her experience can contribute a lot to this new stage of the museum.
-Is Chillida Leku going to open up to the international artistic scene?
-The own work of my father, being deeply rooted in the territory and in the local sphere, has a universal dimension. In this sense, the opening to the international is at the root and essence of Chillida Leku.