The Official Gazette of Galicia (DOG) will publish next week the file to start the declaration of the library of Emilia Pardo Bazán as an asset of cultural interest (BIC), a protection that will include a total of 10,855 volumes. Of these, 2,972 remain inside the Pazo de Meirás, which the heirs of dictator Francisco Franco must deliver to the State on December 10 and which they intended take out numerous goods and valuables.
From the literary sanctuary of Pardo Bazán to a fortress occupied for 80 years by the Franco family: the story of the Pazo de Meirás
The Minister of Culture, Education and University, Román Rodríguez, and the president of the Royal Galician Academy (RAG), Víctor F. Freixanes, presented the document, which will be collected by the DOG on Tuesday or Wednesday. Rodríguez has stated that the Pardo Bazán library meets the characteristics of heritage not only because of the value of the copies that make it up, but also because of the “figure to which it is linked.”
The declaration as BIC will affect a total of 10,855 books, of which 7,883 are kept at the RAG headquarters, while 2,972 remain inside the Torres de Meirás. The file opens the door to the inclusion of new volumes that are currently unaccounted for. The aim is that, if more specimens from the collection are identified in the future, they will also be protected by this figure. The books are marked with a red stamp with which the son of the writer, Jaime Quiroga and Pardo Bazán, ordered them all to be registered.
The councilor has indicated that the Galician legislation on cultural heritage of 2016 includes a maximum period of two years to complete the procedures for the declaration. However, in the case of the library of Emilia Pardo Bazán, Rodríguez has promised that it will be “much less.” Despite all the missing procedures, he has considered that the initiation to be published by the DOG is key because, from that moment on, the almost 11,000 books that make up the collection will already have “all the protection and safeguard measures”.
“The important thing,” added Freixanes, “is that it is already protected.” “What worried us was that someone could distract books, and that is what is already guaranteed,” he indicated. The president of the RAG has opted to gather the entire fund in what was the house of Pardo Bazán in A Coruña, on Calle Tabernas.
The Real Academia Galega is currently responsible for the care of the cultural heritage and intellectual production of Emilia Pardo Bazán by decision of her daughter and heir, Blanca Quiroga. Just as the State claims the Pazo de Meirás, the RAG claims the writer’s books that are there, said Freixanes. According to an inventory prepared in 2015 by the RAG and by the curator of the House-Museum Emilia Pardo Bazán, Xulia Santiso -with the collaboration of the universities of Santiago and A Coruña-, there are almost 3,000 books in the pazo that belong to the writer .
The academic Marilar Aleixandre highlighted that the collection shows, in her opinion, the “very broad interests” that this “exceptional woman” and “pioneer of feminism” had, who was also “self-taught”. Among the copies there are poetry, theater, science and history of religions, among other topics.