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Spanish masterpieces return to Madrid after more than a century

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The Local/AFP - [email protected]
Spanish masterpieces return to Madrid after more than a century
Among the paintings on loan is El Greco's "Vincenzo Anastagi" -- the only full-length standing portrait by the artist which exists today, said Prado conservation director Javier Portus. Image: Public Domain

Paintings by masters including El Greco, Velázquez, Murillo and Goya from New York's Frick Collection have returned to Spain for the first time in more than a century for a temporary exhibition.

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A total of nine works from the collection built by late US industrialist Henry Clay Frick will go on display from Tuesday at the Prado museum in Madrid until July 2nd.

The Frick Collection art museum has loaned the works while it is closed for renovation. It has sent works to other museums as well, including Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

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The Prado has received four paintings by Francisco de Goya, three by Renaissance painter El Greco and one each by Velázquez and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

"It is a limited number of works but of enormous quality," Prado director Miguel Falomir told a news conference.

1644 Portrait of Philip IV of Spain, by Diego Velázquez, one of the Spanish masterpieces that will be on display in Madrid's El Prado Museum. Image: Public Domain

Ian Wardropper, the director of the Frick Collection said the works were being loaned "for the first time in a hundred years".

Among the paintings on loan is El Greco's "Vincenzo Anastagi" -- the only full-length standing portrait by the artist which exists today, said Prado conservation director Javier Portus.

Also featured is El Greco's "The Expulsion of the Money Changers from the Temple" (pictured above) which Frick bought for $120,000 at the beginning of the 20th century in Spain.

The Frick Collection works are exhibited alongside other paintings belonging to the Prado with which they have "close links", the museum said in a statement.

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