| Pablo Picasso
Malaga (Spain), Oct. 27: After a wait of more than half-a-century Pablo Picasso’s greatest wish was realised today when the king and queen of Spain opened a museum dedicated to the artist’s work in his native city, Malaga.
Picasso never saw his plan come to fruition because he died in exile in France in 1973, before the death of Franco, who deemed his work “degenerate”.
Christine Ruiz-Picasso, Picasso’s daughter-in-law and her son, the artist’s grandson, Bernard, have donated most of the museum’s 200 works.
“This is a love story. I had to fulfil his dream that his work would be in his native town,” she said. “He was aware of what was happening here, but he suffered a lot when the dictatorship prevented him from returning.”
Yesterday Malaga was festooned with bunting heralding the new museum and events organised to “receive the maestro”. A bullfight advertised with a suitable Picasso painting, was held this afternoon.
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia opened the museum, which is located in a restored palace in the heart of Malaga’s labyrinthine old Jewish quarter, near the house where the artist was born. The breadth of Picasso’s 72-year career is represented, including his Blue, Pink and Cubist periods, and the works of art are valued by the family at £200 million. Some have been donated in perpetuity.
The museum is billed as “Picasso’s return to Malaga” to counter a perceived historic injustice that the artist’s legacy was “stolen” by Paris and Barcelona where Picasso museums already exist. “Paris and Barcelona claimed the image of Picasso, perhaps with some legitimacy, but no one thought about Malaga except the artist himself,” said Manuel Chaves, the head of the regional government of Andalucia.
Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881 but he last saw it in 1901.