The President of the Government heads the meeting of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado, during which the Museum’s new Action Plan is approved

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[Translate to English:] De izq. a dcha.: Plácido Arango, Presidente del Real Patronato del Museo del Prado; José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Presidente del Gobierno; César Antonio Molina, Ministro de Cultura.

    Coinciding with the implementation of its new four-year Action Plan, whose principal projects include the launch of the Study Centre’s full programme, the Museo del Prado has announced the forthcoming start of this Centre’s activities with the opening of its Library, and the inauguration of the Prado’s new Academic Chair, whose first incumbent is Philippe de Montebello

    Tuesday 10 February 2009

    The Royal Board of Trustees of the Museo Nacional de Prado met in a plenary session presided over by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Government, and César Antonio Molina, Spanish Minister of Culture. At the meeting the Board approved the Museum’s Action Plan for 2009-2012. This is the second multi-annual plan drawn up by the Museum that sets out its specific plans for the next four years, establishing its forthcoming strategies and priority actions during the period in question. At the conclusion of the meeting, which took place in the Casón del Buen Retiro, the President visited the Luca Giordano Room, now the Reading Room of the Museum’s new Library, as well as other rooms in the building following its complete remodelling for use as the Museum’s new Study Centre.

    The 2009-2012 Action Plan, presented for the Board’s consideration by the Museum’s director, Miguel Zugaza, is structured around seven projects intended to fulfil four of the Prado’s priority missions: making the Museum’s collections as accessible and visible as possible, both inside the main building and elsewhere; promoting the Museum’s activities as a reference point for the study and preservation of art, and strengthening its collaboration with the scholarly community; increasing the dynamism and quality of its educational and cultural activities; and promoting an organisational culture and an effective management system that guarantees the Museum’s economic situation and favours the creation of an outstanding, motivated and participative community. The seven projects within the Action Plan fall under the following headings: “The Collection: the other Expansion of the Prado”, “A larger Museum: the Prado outside the Prado”, “An optimum Experience of the Prado”, “The Study Centre: an international reference point for Curatorship and Restoration”, “The Prado’s Exhibitions”, “Being Part of the Prado”, and “The Future in the Past: the Salón de Reinos”.

    During his visit to the rooms in the new Study Centre, the President of the Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, saw some of the bibliographic treasures housed in the Museum’s Library, including the Libro delli comandamenti di Dio by Marco dal Monte Santa María (1494), a rare surviving, illustrated Florentine incunable; Principios para estudiar el nobilissimo y real arte de la Pintura by José García Hidalgo (1693), the most important drawing manual of the Spanish Golden Age, and Le Cabinet des plus beaux portraits of around 1700, the edition that has the largest number of prints from Van Dyck’s famous Iconography. The President was also able to see a number of important documents in the Museum’s Archive, such as the one recording Picasso’s appointment as Director of the Museum in 1936.

    The Library’s new Reading Room, located in the Central Hall or Luca Giordano Room of the Casón, will open to the public from 9 March from 9am to 2pm (Mondays to Fridays). It will provide access to the holdings of the Library, the Archive and the Documentation Service to all interested scholars and researchers. In addition to its consultation service, it will offer bibliographic information and access to electronic services including Internet (WIFI) and photocopying.

    President Zapatero was also informed regarding the establishment of the Museum’s new Academic Chair, an initiative intended to involve leading figures from the world of scholarship and museums in the life of the Prado. The first holder of the Chair, whose programme will begin next month, is Philippe de Montebello, Director Emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Fiske Kimball Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, and a figure of unquestionable authority and prestige in the world of international museums. The programme of the new Chair will focus on the subject of “The Museum: Today and Tomorrow” through a series of lectures that will take place between March and October this year, to be given by leading international figures in the museum world. Attendance is by prior enrolment until all places are filled

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