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Dead as a Dodo

The Museu de Mallorca is a national museum and as such comes under the responsibility of the Directorio de Museos y Colecciones de España, a department of the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, a ministry of the Gobierno de España, the Spanish Government.

The museum in Palma is in a 16th century mansion popularly known as Casa de la Gran Cristiana, not far from the bishop’s palace, somewhere behind the Cathedral. Don’t go there because you will find that the place is closed for the public and access has been unavailable for five years now. You could say that the place is dead as a dodo, totally unrelated to the current economic crisis. You would think that instead one could at least consult the website of the museum and would find information there. But no, that one is dead as well. None of the site’s links function, with only one exception. The last update was made in 2006, it seems.

You would normally find some interesting archaeological finds at the Museu de Mallorca, pertaining to the island’s Talayotic period, the Roman era as well as the Islamic phase and the Mediaeval history. The museum normally also houses some fine art from the 15th to the 20th century, plus a collection of books and documents.

If you have followed events on this MDPB you might be aware that some museum pieces are now on temporary display at the Centre de Cultura SA NOSTRA, in Calle Concepción. That one is well worth a visit but, if you have ever been to the Museu de Mallorca, don’t expect to find more than a mere fragment of its exhibits at the SA NOSTRA exhibition.

The Museu de Mallorca has a secondary building in Muro: an ethnological section, where some of the every-day-objects on display relate to Mallorca before the age of tourism. There is a further museum branch in Alcúdia: a Roman archaeology section, known as the Museu Monogràfic de Pollença, showing remnants found at the Roman city of Pollentia. I would recommend visits to those museum offshoots as well, should you be in the area and should you be so inclined.

The photos were chosen from my archive. They were taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 18th, 2004. The time was 13:34:43 and 13:28:42, respectively.

6 replies »

  1. The continuing closure of the Museo de Mallorca is an ongoing disgrace perpetrated by those who should be safeguarding the Island’s cultural heritage. But it is all of a piece with the behaviour of the “philistines” who make the decisions in this area. It puts one in a foul mood to contemplate the long list of cultural/heritage sites which are either neglected or less than adequately looked-after. Have you visited the necropolis at Son Real recently? And now on top of it all comes the news that my favourite small museum – the Museo de J. Torrents Lladó has been vandalised (there is no other word for the way it has been stripped out) to provide a means by which a German Art Dealer can maximise the value of his Salvador Dali collection. I generally visited the Torrents museo about 4 or 5 times a year, if only because I had conceived a passion for a lady called Virginia Lopez, a full-length portrait of whom, adorned the museo. But the last time I went a couple of months back, it was closed and no one could then tell me why. Now I know. I have nothing against Dali or Art Dealers of whatever nationality, but did Torrents Lladó have to disappear to allow Dali into the light? I am of a mind to cry with Cicero, “O Tempora, O Mores”!

    • what a disgrace it is, indeed. and it is a pity that your love affair with virginia lopez has been sabotaged as well. all is not well in the state of mallorca and the island’s cultural heritage.

  2. I am equally angry – there are enough Dali elsewhere! what is the most tragic is that all these works have been lost to his public. despite numerous attempts I cannot find where they are now, there is a strong chance they were sold off to cover inheritance taxes when the museum closed, but no one has been able to confirm this or indeed where his works are now. I even emailed his daughter who was an estate trustee but no reply.
    An outrage and a tragedy to art lovers!!

  3. My wife Pat & I had two magical visits to the Museo Torrents Llado a few years ago. What a marvellously evocative house of an artist. It is criminal that it is no more. All we have are our memories. Roger Duke.

  4. I was just writing up a piece about the Casa Torrents from a visit a few years ago and couldn’t understand why there was so little info about its closure. Your page is on the 6th page of a google search. I can not believe that this was allowed to happen. It was such an amazing place and it is really sad to know that the paintings have been dispersed also. I can appreciate that some places have to sell off their possessions to pay for health and social care but it is amazing that Mallorca with it’s massive tourist trade couldn’t have afforded to preserve this unique attraction. I had planned to return to Mallorca just to revisit that gem, as a sixtieth birthday treat. Looks like the fjords have won. I hope no one has modernised them by the time I get there! Big loves to all out there! xx

    • Hello Ali,
      I’m not quite sure if we are talking about the same thing. The Casa Museu Torrents Lladó in Palma is the place where Joaquín Torrents Lladó, the Catalan painter, lived from 1968 until his death in 1993. The house is still open for visits but now some graphic work by Salvator Dalí is being shown.
      The Museo de Mallorca, however, has undergone extensive restoration work and was closed for a very long time, I would say close to ten years. But, I am happy to say that the museum has reopened in 2018 and can be visited again in large parts. The paintings and artefacts that had been exhibited at the Centre de Cultura Sa Nostra have moved back and are on display in the modernised rooms. Once again, the museum is well worth a visit and perhaps the Fjords will have to wait a little bit longer.
      I hope that one of the two pieces of information will be of help.

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