Noteworthy regarding this collaboration, early Museo Ferragamo and ArtMediaStudio conceived together an exhibition for the Palazzo Spini Feroni, the former town hall of Florence, on the th anniversary of Florence as capital of Italy. It displays 24 hours of life in Palazzo Spini Feroni, with the activities that took place there, the relationship with the neighbourhood, the city, as well as the view of the city seen from the embattled top. Through pictures of interior and exterior, the contrasts of sounds and silences, reality of movement and stasis, the visions succeed one another to create a modern diorama in a round screen of about 3.
The installations of ArtMediaStudio, although they cannot replace the works of art themselves, represent an alternative and effective way to experience the history and the art in a dynamic, engaging and innovative way. Even if the title might seem a bit exaggerated, it is true that during the 20th century Spain suffered the biggest and saddest loss of cultural heritage objects and buildings in the whole history of the country. Poverty and ignorance of the locals about their patrimony favoured demolition of palaces1, thefts and uncontrolled selling of works of art, while political instability and an underdeveloped economy led to crisis and dictatorships , Primo de Rivera , a war and Franco's regime That context created the best environment for heritage to disappear under the ruins of poverty and destruction.
How did that happen? Why did it happen? The aim of this article is not to judge the facts, but to give the reader an overview of Spain's and the America's context that could explain, or at least put some light on, the massive exportation process of artworks from one side of the Atlantic to the other that happened during the 20th century. A brief set of data on the social and economic context of Spain is necessary to understand the situation of the country.
In the late 19th and the early 20th century, the economy was based on agriculture, strongly protected by the state against foreign competitors and cultivated mostly in unfertile lands without machinery. Spain also practically skipped the European Industrial Revolution and communication improvements e. The exception were the industries of metallurgy, mining and clothing in specific areas nearby the seas Catalonia, Asturias, and Basque Country.
Moreover, lack of basic education was widespread among the population. In this number had fortunately decreased to 8. Besides, those that had received some basic education usually had very basic knowledge of writing, reading and elementary mathematics, and then were pulled out of school around the age of 14 in order to work.
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That also created, in the late 20th century, the best environment for art thieves, such as Erik El Belga, who stole hundreds of small art pieces from rural Spain. But even before that, how could poor people own valuable pieces? The answer to this question can be found in the late 19th century. In the s, legal measures inspired by French reforms were approved to abolish the almost feudal government and economic and social system.
In the religious orders were legally dissolved and its belongings, owned by the state. That change in ownership meant that most of those heritage buildings often. Antiquaries and art dealers started to travel around Spain, and usually were very welcomed by locals when they showed money in exchange for some sculptures that nobody cared about or a piece of frescoes that was melting down under the rain, as in the case of the Roman frescoes of San Pedro de Arlanza Burgos 2. As a consequence, hundreds of pieces of Spanish heritage buildings were unmounted and lost amidst sales, vandalism, theft and the unconsciousness of the new owners who used churches storage buildings for wheat or even animals, apart from selling the best pieces to art dealers.
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But the contrary was happening in Great Britain and the USA, where at that time historians became extremely interested in Spanish art and started publishing the first research in this field. Back to Spain, where a huge error of the public administration and Catholic Church created the perfect legal limbo for art dealers. Almost no inventories nor registers of artworks and historic relevant buildings had been made in any part of the national territory, and the existing ones had been destroyed, or weren't updated since years.
That made it really easy for anybody interested, to walk around Spain and illegally buy all kinds of heritage without the institutions knowing it, because those pieces, legally speaking, just didn't exist. So the interest and money on one side of the Atlantic, and ignorance, unconsciousness, poorness and finally absolute absence of control from the Spanish state on the other side of the ocean, resulted in the largest, uncontrolled and mostly illicit exportation of Spanish arts and heritage ever seen.
But what about Spanish laws on protection of cultural heritage? How couldn't those legal instruments stop the draining of art pieces? Heritage protection laws against robbery, illicit exportation and other related themes already existed in Spain during the period this massive exportation occurred. Some of the most relevant legal rules were approved in , , , , , and , but many of them were very generic, incomplete and didn't establish penalties for offenders, so in the end the judicial system had to decide each time if an artwork was or was not allowed to be sold and exported.
Moreover, the judicial system was extremely slow, so permissions related to anything like heritage or arts took a long time. In all these exportation processes it is possible to highlight some names of relevant buyers, sellers and art dealers that actively collaborated in the final arrival of Spanish art to the American museums. The main buyers in the United States of America for Spanish art pieces were William Randolph Hearst and John Davidson Rockefeller, through his Foundation, together with other less prolific collectors4. Of course, those collectors didn't buy directly in Spain, but sent their experts to identify and select the valuable pieces to be bought, which were then sent to the USA to be part of their private collections, many of those waiting to be donated to museums, such as The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
One of the first art historians that had published research on Spanish arts, Arthur Bayne, soon became the right hand of Hearst. Bayne, hiding himself behind academic interest, created catalogues, photographed works of art and showed them to the American collectors, whilst also giving advice on the valuable goods to be purchased to enrich their collections, without caring about the legality of his operations. Bayne usually worked together with other Spanish antiquaries such as the family of Ignacio and Raimundo Ruiz, that controlled a large business in antiquities and arts in Madrid , that collaborated actively in the movement and selling of the pieces, such as an exportation of gothic sepulchral sculptures form the monastery of Bellpuig de les Avellanes which finally, after the illegal exportation, were bought by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Meanwhile, around Barcelona, other people had taken the control of the arts in Catalonia. On one hand, the Catalan art collector and dealer Lluis Plandiura gathered a huge collection of works of art that sold internationally, collaborating with a bigger circle of big-scale international art dealers. That action revealed how concerned the authorities were at that point about the massive and evident sales of works of art and how Spanish arts were quickly disappearing.
This was then the main circle of businessmen related to the arts that used all the legal and illegal tools to buy as much Spanish art as possible with the only objective of economic profit.creativeindiamag.com/sexo-entre-mujeres.php
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Then, other cases of the Spanish disaster stemmed from different motivations. For example, Archer Milton Huntington, an American art collector and a passionate historian of Spain, declared that he was interested in buying just the Spanish art that had already left the country by doing this, in his view, he wasn't promoting illicit removal , hence aiming to create a museum to enhance the study of Spanish art and history in the USA.
The interest of the American collectors in Spanish pieces had become more than evident for locals, so old rich and noble families got in a hurry to sell their art treasures. Those sales were perceived as a scandal and the Spanish government started actions to prevent antiques traffic, but it wasn't able to stop the draining of paintings. It is thought that between and at least 17 important El Greco paintings left Spain.
The examples presented here are just a few of the most relevant cases around Spain, but considering the vastness of the territory and the huge amount of pieces exported, it is necessary to specify that all cases are still different from one another. Each one involved different legal entities private owners, public administration, Catholic Church and some of them were declared legal and illegal at the same time, creating legal contradictions that favoured exportation.
However, even if times have changed and Spain strongly encouraged preservation of its heritage since the end of the fascism, nowadays it is too late for Spain to bring back the art that was lost in one of the worst legal heritage management disasters in Europe. To avoid that, several years later the Decree against arbitrary demolition of historic monuments, was.
The owner of the monastery and the frescoes wrote several letters to the Commission of Monuments of Burgos and to the General Direction of Fine Arts, offering to sell the valuable pieces to the public administration, receiving no answer.
By the time those institutions and other important entities in Spain such as the Royal Academies of History and San Fernando considered the offer, private collectors had already bought and taken away the pieces. Krees, J. E' artista, scrittore e regista di teatro. Ha tenuto mostre in importanti spazi pubblici e privati internazionali.
Gli e' stata dedicata una vasta personale in sede pubblica nel a Torino, a cura di Luca Beatrice e Guido Curto, promossa dalla Regione Piemonte. Montesano, nato come scrittore e regista per il teatro, basa tutta la sua produzione artistica su una personale visione del mondo, percepito come un palcoscenico. Che rapporto ha con questi due contesti espressivi? Per me si tratta di un unico principio di espressione. Io lo faccio sia con la pittura che con il teatro. Se si usano solo sporadicamente, meglio farle vivere nei selettori che le usano.
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