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Carmen Thyssen withdrew from the Thyssen museum more than 400 works not subject to loan after the agreement with the Government

   MADRID, 3 May.

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Carmen Thyssen withdrew from the Thyssen museum more than 400 works not subject to loan after the agreement with the Government


Carmen Thyssen withdrew from the museum more than 400 works that she had on deposit "without contractual regulation", after signing the agreement with the Government in February 2022 for the temporary transfer of her collection, according to a report to which she has had access. Europa Press of the Court of Auditors.

The document audits the economic and financial management of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation (FCTB) in the 2020 financial year and establishes a series of recommendations. In one of the sections, it alerts that, in addition to the works from the Permanent Collection, acquired by the FCTB, and those from the Carmen Thyssen Collection, as of December 31, 2020, the Foundation had 321 works on deposit belonging to the Baroness, without this situation having been subject to contractual regulation – a figure that increased to more than 400 after the two subsequent years, according to sources from the art gallery have confirmed to Europa Press.

In the allegations to the report presented from the Thyssen Foundation, it is argued that they have had works of art by the Baroness on deposit, the delivery and, where appropriate, return of which has been documented. "The document of reception of the works constitutes the contract that, in the absence of conditions, is governed by the general provisions of the Civil Code", they have assured from the foundation.

However, it explains that, as a result of the formalization of the lease contract with the Baroness on February 9, 2022, the "different people and companies" that had delivered works, outside of loan, requested the return and proceeded to withdraw the museum of more than 400 works.

The report also refers to the extension of some loans of works from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection --exceeding six months--, also highlighting that the works of this collection loaned to other museums and institutions during 2020 were 66, which represents more than 10% of the works in the collection.

Since the foundation, it has been recalled that loans to third parties from the Carmen Thyssen collection are not subject to the maximum period of six months "which is considered a normal condition for works in the permanent collection."

"The exception of the Carmen Thyssen Collection has always been so at the request of the owners of the Collection, represented by the Baroness, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, and recently confirmed in writing by the representative and legal adviser of the lenders", highlighted the Foundation.

In any case, they have highlighted that all the loans from the Carmen Thyssen collection "have also gone through the study and approval of the Board of Trustees, after consulting the advisory commission." Once the loans to third parties of works from the Carmen Thyssen collection were approved, the Foundation sent the lenders of said collection a report detailing the works and loan conditions.

"The lenders approved or opposed (within a month) the loans. Therefore, the loans analyzed in the Draft Report have all been ratified by the lenders, including their duration," he defended.

The Court of Auditors recalls that the foundation has also loaned a total of 72 paintings from the Permanent Collection to other museums and institutions in 2020, a number that "is within the limits authorized by the Statutes". "However, the Statutes also establish a time limit for loans, stating that normally they should not last longer than six months, which has not been met in several cases," lamented the institution.

The museum has recalled that these loans occurred during the pandemic period, with the known restrictions, and "continuous changes in dates, extensions, and aforementioned cancellations."

In general terms, the Court of Accounts recommends that the Foundation "intensify its efforts" in compliance with accounting regulations and justify the necessity and suitability of the contracts and the insufficiency or lack of suitability of internal resources. In addition, he suggests creating "a realistic template."

The report also recommends that the Ministry of Culture introduce control mechanisms over the amount of the endowment deficit estimated by the Foundation in its initial budgets, in order to increase or reduce the endowment in the event of substantial variations in treasury funds as they become known. throughout the exercise.