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Former Minister of Culture Ferran Mascarell joins as general advisor of the Thyssen Museum

Sant Feliu de Guíxols will start work on the future Thyssen Museum in the autumn and will seek patrons to finance the project

Former Minister of Culture Ferran Mascarell joins as general advisor of the Thyssen Museum
bonart sant feliu de guíxols - 24/04/24

The Sant Feliu de Guíxols Town Council (Baix Empordà) will start work on the future Thyssen Museum this autumn and will be looking for patrons to provide private funding for the project. The first phase of the work will include the entire interior reform of the monastery, part of which will house the exhibition rooms. The mayor, Carles Motas, emphasizes that for this 2024 the council already has 3.6 million euros (MEUR) from the contributions made by the Generalitat, the Provincial Council and the State. Now, the intention is to get private financing. For this reason, the Thyssen takes a step forward and incorporates the former Minister of Culture Ferran Mascarell as general advisor, with the aim of "putting on muscle" and strengthening the foundation with new patterns.

With the final approval of the project by the municipal council, the future Thyssen Museum of Sant Feliu de Guíxols opens a new stage. This one, already focused on the start of works and on the different phases that must make it possible for the baroness's collection of Catalan paintings, framed in the 19th and 20th centuries, to be exhibited in the municipality.

Of the 12 MEUR that the project costs, the Sant Feliu de Guíxols Council has already tied up more than 5.5 spread over different annuities. Of these, 2.1 MEUR is provided by the Generalitat; 1.2 MEUR more, the Province of Girona; 500,000 euros, the Ministry of Culture, and the remaining 1.5 MEUR come through the Destination Tourism Sustainability Plan. In addition, the council is also waiting for the 2% Cultural call to be resolved, to which it participated.

At the moment, with what is already on the table, the mayor says that for this 2024 "there is already a budget availability of 3.6 million" for the future Thyssen. This is money that will allow a more extensive archaeological excavation to be carried out in Plaça de l'Abadia - where the cube that will give entrance to the museum will be erected - and, now, to go ahead with the first phase of works on the future Thyssen.

The aim of the Sant Feliu City Council is for these works to start in the autumn, between the months of September and October. They will make it possible to renovate the entire interior of the monastery, part of which will host the exhibition rooms, improve the enclosures and air conditioning and also install photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Municipal Theater (which will provide energy to the Thyssen) .

From here, the council decides that the museum will be a reality at the end of 2026 (which is a year behind the latest forecasts). Carles Motas already emphasizes, however, that the different phases will also depend on the funding, because the mayor of Sant Feliu de Guíxols has always maintained that this "is a country project", and that the municipal contribution will be in line with it. to that of a city of 23,000 inhabitants".

Former Minister of Culture Ferran Mascarell joins as general advisor of the Thyssen Museum

Mascarell joins as an advisor

Aside from public contributions, the Sant Feliu de Guíxols Council also wants to involve the private sector with the future museum. That is why he will look for patrons for the project. Also, with the intention of strengthening the board of trustees of the Thyssen Foundation. "The work will go on two sides; we will not only seek private funding for the works, but also for the patrons to be part of the foundation for the future, because it is what will guarantee the maintenance of the museum," said the mayor.

Precisely, to give it a push, the council has incorporated the former Minister of Culture Ferran Mascarell as general advisor for the project. Linked to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Mascarell has stressed that he will try to "put muscle" into the future museum and do "everything possible to help find money". "We want not a single euro or an hour to be lost because we are distracted," he said.

"If we do it right, the museum will become a benchmark for Catalan art at an international level", stressed the former councillor, also highlighting the cultural projection it will have for the territory. In fact, in 2015, Mascarell was the first of the seven councilors of the Generalitat with whom Motas has met to present the project to them over the years.

The former adviser, however, will not be alone. Because he will work in tandem with the historian and former director of the Barcelona History Museum Toni Nicolau, who will assume the technical secretariat of the project. Regarding the future Thyssen, Nicolau emphasized that, once it becomes a reality, the monastery of Sant Feliu will be "the first great heritage building in the country that will have one of the best art museums".

Physical work this summer

For now, and while waiting for the project of the Nieto-Sobejano team of architects to take shape, this summer Sant Feliu de Guíxols will once again host physical works from the baroness' art gallery. It will be in a new temporary exhibition, which is to be inaugurated in July and of which few details have yet been given.

It is known that he will combine paintings with virtual images, and that paintings from the Thyssen collection will "dialogue" with other works (for example, sculptures). In addition, the mayor has advanced that the intention is also to link the visit to the exhibition with the results of the archaeological excavations in Plaça de l'Abadia (which they want to complete in the summer).

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