On 28 July 1936, the Committee for the Artistic Patrimony met for the first time in Madrid. Initially comprising five members, after various public appeals and the reallocation of civil servants, it was enlarged to comprise a sizeable group of specialists and assistants so that by 1937 it had 151 members. From a variety of professions and political backgrounds, all were united in their aim of preserving Spain’s artistic, literary and archival patrimony from the risks of war, a task facilitated by the assistance they received from military and civil organisations. The Committee set up its headquarters in the Palacio de Bibliotecas y Museos (the present National Library and National Archaeological Museum) and also had several different storage areas for requisitioned objects. During its nearly three years’ of activity, the Committee in Madrid was unanimously praised by all those who visited its various venues.

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