The Long Journey
On March 1938, in the face of the imminent breakdown in communications between Valencia and Catalonia, the Government of the Republic ordered the works of art and other objects of heritage in Valencia to be moved to Figueras. One month later, the Protection Committees came under the Ministry of Finance, and while they continued to be directly responsible for the survival and protection of Spain’s cultural heritage, the contradictions resulting from these new political alignments became ever more obvious. Shortly before the fall of Catalonia in 1939, the International Committee for the Safeguard of Spanish Art Treasures and the Central Committee reached an agreement with the Republican government to evacuate the works of art and other artistic patrimony to the headquarters of the League of Nations in Geneva until the end of the war. The works of art and other objects arrived in Geneva on 14 February 1939. They were inventoried and then handed over to the Nationalist Government of Burgos which authorised the Museum of Art and History in the City to show masterpieces from the Museo del Prado over the summer. On 9 September the works of art returned to Madrid, one week after the start of World War II.