New Thyssen museum set to open in Spain

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More than 200 paintings from the private collection of the widow of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza will be on display at a new museum that opens Thursday in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

The Carmen Thyssen Museum will be opened at a ceremony in the presence of Spanish Hollywood star Antonio Banderas, among others.

Some 230 works from 19th century artists such as Sorolla, Fortuny, Zuloaga, Romero de Torres, De Regoyos and De Haes will be on show.

The collection, valued at around 700 million euros ($950 million), was lent to the new museum by Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza until 2025.

But she told a news conference Wednesday that she hopes to reach a deal under which they will be on display for "a longer period"

The museum, which opens its doors to the public from Friday, has been established in Malaga's 16th century Villalon Palace, which was bought and restored by the city authorities.

From April 11, it will also house an exhibition entitled "from Picasso to Tapies". Malaga is already home to a Picasso museum.

The Dutch-born Baron Hans Heinrich von Thyssen-Bornemisza, an industrialist and art collector who died in 2002, sold more than 700 of his paintings to the Spanish state for $338 million in 1993.

They are on display at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, considered one of Spain's three great museums along with the Prado and the Reina Sofia which are also in the Spanish capital.

Baroness Thyssen, a former Miss Spain and the baron's fifth wife, said she also hopes to lend another part of his vast collection to another museum to be established in a monastery in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

These works are at present in the modern wing of the Thyssen Museum in Madrid.

© 2011 AFP

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