Rita Hayworth and Rex Harrison shot the comedy of George Marshall at the Prado Museum, The last blackmail (The Happy Thielves). It was 1961 and the beautiful redhead actress was already known worldwide for Gilda. It can be imagined how his mere presence should have revolutionized the city of Madrid and the Velazquez halls through which the cameras went while the couple studied how to steal a painting. That stellar moment is in one of the 400 audio-visual archives that the Prado Museum has recovered to dump it on your website as part of the celebrations of its bicentennial. It is an initiative aimed at research and entertainment carried out in collaboration with Radio Televisión Española and Filmoteca Española together with numerous private entities. There are already 300 tickets available and the rest will go up throughout the year.
Miguel Falomir, director of the Museum, says that the intense search of collaborating institutions in the project has focused on material that has to do with the Prado as a setting and as inspiration. There are visits by world-famous characters, of which the No-Do (Orson Welles, Eva Perón, James Stewart, Rita Hayworth, Miss World Lesley Langley), gave the splendid information of exhibitions Weekly report or informative series as Look at a picture, in which a known intellectual told the audience the story of a painting. "On these winter evenings," advises Falomir, "it can be very entertaining to enter our page and download some files.
The work of tuning the 400 pieces has been developed during a whole year and has involved the restoration of a large part of the material that was in poor condition. Alberto de Prada, director of the documentary fund of TVE, explains that it has been used to catalog, digitize and recover damaged files. Thanks to this, unpublished material has been discovered such as the documentary by Basilio Martín Patino Introduction to the Prado Museum (1987) and five short films in need of immediate attention have been recovered: Velázquez (1937) by Ramón Barreiro, The mythology in the Prado: Rubens (1948) by José María Elorrieta, Il Paradiso Perduto (1948) by Luciano Emmer and Enrico Gras, Goya at the Prado Museum by José A. Sobrino and El Greco A painter, a river, a city (1960) by Jesús Fernández Santos. The latter is considered the director who has worked most with the Prado as a theme. He filmed no less than a dozen documentaries. One of the most famous is Three hours at the Prado Museum (1968), based on the work of Eugenio D'Ors.
Josetxo Cerdán, Director of Filmoteca Española advises to see the archives of films filmed inside or outside the museum because they are a source of incalculable information about the architecture, costumes or behaviors of each one of the periods of which there is film record. In addition to the visits of celebrities, protagonists of many films, there are fragments of hyper-known titles such as The girls of the Red Cross. Although the most surprising thing can be to know the fiction films with allusions to masterpieces of the pinacoteca, known as Tableau vivant. There are two versions of Crazy Love (1909 and 1948) that represent the work Doña Juana de Castilla following the coffin of Felipe el Hermoso by Francisco Pradilla. And, more recently, the recreation of The executions in Goya in Bordeaux (1998) by Carlos Saura.
Without budgets, the worst news
Moments before the rejection of the budgets was known in the Congress of Deputies, the director of the Prado expressed his dismay for the possible scenarios that were opened in the case of not approving some accounts for which his spending increased in 9 million euros (a rise of 19%) for the works of the Hall of Realms and the expenses of the Bicentennial. "If they extend it is to return to 2017, when we had zero euros for the works and for the bicentennial." But the call for elections and the uncertain results, did not bring tranquility to Falomir because it begins an unpredictable period in which all projects will be paralyzed.
Falomir adds that "The suppression of the special contribution of those nine million would mean the paralysis of any initiative, although we would obtain the resources because everything has to be negotiated again with the treasury. It's a scenario I do not even want to think about. "