In Palma, there are two institutions called Fundación March. The first one is the Museu Fundación Juan March, set up by Juan March Ordinas, the contrabandista and later founder of Banca March, the father, who died 50 years ago this month. The second institution is called Fundación Bartolomé March, set up by the younger son of the patriarch and housed in the Palau March (see photo) in Palma, not far from Palma’s Cathedral. You might have sat in one of the trendy Cappuccino Grand Café hangouts without knowing what was going on in that very building above you.
The father, Juan March Ordinas, had wanted to join the social ranks of the Círculo Mallorquín, situated next door and today seat of the Parlament de les Illes Balears. The members of that club rejected the arriviste’s advances. Without as much as blinking an eye, Juan March bought the premisses next door and built a lavish palatial mansion, the Palau March, now home of the Fundación Bartolomé March, adorning its façade with a faux crest of arms complete with regal crown. Today, this set-up houses a formidable collection of 20th Century sculpture with works by renowned artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Max Bill, Eduardo Chillida and others, an outstanding library of manuscripts and precious books, an exceptional collection of top-notch Mallorcan cartographical treasures and a vast display of beautiful nativity crib figures from Naples, dating from the 18th century.
The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 23rd, 2008. The time was 19:24:34.
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