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The Cartoixa Verdict

You must have heard the news about the Chopin wrangle at the Cartoixa de Valldemossa. The owners of cells no. 2 and no. 4 had taken their quandary of the past 50 odd years to the court to have their legal dispute resolved. Cell no. 2 had to move their falsely attributed piano off the premises and cell no. 4 can now claim to be the only authentic accommodation where the Polish-French composer and his beloved accomplice, George Sand and her children, had put their heads down and where the music genius concocted his immortal sonatas.

Well, the news is that you now have the choice at the Cartoixa de Valldemossa to either enter by a side-entrance to go and indulge in a visit to the Chopin Celda No. 4 Museum only and exclusively for a modest 3 € (daily except Sunday, 09h30 to 18h30).

Or you can visit the rest of the former Carthusian monastery, the erstwhile royal Palacio del Rei Sanxo, the disputed Chopin Celda No. 2, the old 18th century Cartuja pharmacy, the Archduke Luis Salvador room, the old priory cell and clerical library, the antique Guasp printing press display, the beautiful church, the palace’s music room and the secluded gardens for a reduced entry fee of 6.50 €, with a 15 minutes live piano recital thrown in of, guess what, Preludes, Sonatas and Polkas by the very same Chopin, but without being allowed to enter his authenticated cell. Got it? No, I didn’t get it either. It is all a bit confusing and terribly insulting to the interested visitor and music lover. Of course you could simply buy two tickets for the then inflated price of 9.50 € and see all of it. No, sir.

My verdict is, sod them. I do not and can not recommend a visit to Mallorca’s tourist attraction number one any longer. The Cartoixa de Valldemossa does not care two hoots about you, the public, and the paying audience. Chopin and his memory are now, 173 years after their ever so fleeting and brief visit, treated with as much contempt and disrespect as they were then. The self-proclaimed Mallorcan guardians of the music genius may have temporarily succeeded in putting their financial interests over and above the historic significance of the estate in Valldemossa. The owners of Celda Nr. 4 may legally be in the right to do what they have done but, believe me, the spirit of the place is now one of derision, ridicule and disrespect. Shame on them.

P. S. The photograph on Wikipedia of the Chopin cell shows cell no. 2 with the now removed, illegal piano which supposedly Chopin never saw or touched.

The photo was taken in Valldemossa, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 10th, 2012. The time was 13:36:32.

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