SHARE
COPY LINK
GALLERY

ART

Village celebrates rebirth as graffiti museum

A dying village in rural Castellón has been transformed into an open air gallery dedicated to street art.

Village celebrates rebirth as graffiti museum
A man takes pictures of a street art mural on the facade of a house in Fanzara. Photo: Jose Jordan / AFP

Fanzara, home to just over 300 residents, has just celebrated its second urban art festival filling the walls of the village with colourful designs.

Renowned street artists spent four days in the village during July to create splendid murals as part of an initiative dubbed MIAU – the Museo Inacabado de Arte Urbano (Unfinished Museum of Urban Art).

The initiative in Fanzara, some 30 kilometres from Castellón in eastern Spain, was started by local resident Javier López as a way to breathe new life in a village that like many rural communities across Spain was stagnating with the exodus of young people to the cities.

Now it has a thriving artistic community and is attracting tourists to the area.

GALLERY: Street art in Fanzara

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ART

Paul Gauguin’s ‘Mata Mua’ returns to Spain

One of French painter Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings, "Mata Mua", will return to a Madrid museum on Monday following an agreement between the Spanish government and its owner, who took it out of the country.

mata mua madrid
Toward the end of his life, Gauguin spent ten years in French Polynesia, where he completed some of his most famous artwork Painting: Paul Gaugin

The artwork had been on display for two decades at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum but in 2020 when the institution closed because of the pandemic, the painting’s owner Carmen Thyssen moved it to Andorra where she currently lives.

Her decision to take “Mata Mua” to the microstate sandwiched between Spain and France raised fears she would remove other works from her collection which are on display at the museum.

“It is expected that the painting will arrive today,” a spokeswoman for the museum told AFP.

mata-mua_gauguin-madrid

In 1989, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza bought Mata Mua at the Sotheby’s auction in New York. Painting: Paul Gauguin

The artwork will go back on display to the public “a few days after” Thyssen signs a new agreement with the Spanish state for the lease of her collection, she added. The deal is expected to be signed on Wednesday.

Painted in 1892 in vivid, flat colours, “Mata Mua” depicts two women, one playing the flute and the other listening, set against a lush Tahitian landscape.

It is one of the stars of Thyssen’s collection of several hundred paintings which are on show at the museum, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet.

Her collection had initially been displayed at the Madrid museum as part of a free loan agreement signed in February 2002 that was subsequently extended.

But in August 2021 Spain’s culture ministry announced it had reached an agreement with Thyssen to rent the collection from her for 15 years for €97.5 million ($111.5 million), with “preferential acquisition rights on all or part” of the works. The collection includes a Degas, a Hopper and a Monet.

Aside from housing her collection of works, the museum displays the collection of her late husband, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Swiss heir to a powerful industrial lineage who died in Spain in 2002.

The Spanish state bought his collection in 1993 from $350 million, according to the museum.

SHOW COMMENTS