February 1939 saw the fall of Catalonia. To avoid any risk that the art stores might be looted or destroyed, the recently-created International Committee for the Rescue of Spanish Art Treasures signed the “Figueras Agreement” on 3 February whereby the Republican government committed itself to deliver the works of art to the care of the League of Nations, and that at the end of the war they would be returned to Spain. Between 4 and 9 February the evacuation of works of art began, filling 71 trucks and in conditions of great risk. Once in France, the cargo was moved onto a train that left Perpignan for Switzerland on 12 February in an expedition financed by the International Committee. Five days later, the priceless cargo arrived at the headquarters of the League of Nations in Geneva

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