A man visits the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain, on Nov. 16, 2018. The Prado Museum in Madrid on Friday began a series of activities to celebrate its 200th anniversary (1819-2019) in which it aims to attract more Chinese visitors. (Xinhua/Guo Qiuda)
MADRID, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Prado Museum in Madrid on Friday began a series of activities to celebrate its 200th anniversary (1819-2019) in which it aims to attract more Chinese visitors.
"It is a totally unique experience and we are seeing more Chinese visitors all of the time," Museum Director Miguel Falomir told Xinhua in an exclusive interview, adding that the Chinese visitors are the group growing the most.
Over 2 million people viewed the variety of the works housed in the Prado museum in 2017 and 57,000 of those visitors were Chinese. The museum director believed even more people should visit the building in the Spanish capital.
"It is filled with passion and totally unique. It is the home of the artists; a place where painters are in paradise and in one way or another visitors share the same experience," he highlighted.
But the Prado museum's importance is more than just the works it houses.
"We are celebrating our bicentenary. The Prado is one of the best museums in the world and it is the most important institution of Spanish culture. In some ways it reflects the essence of Spain. Everything that Spain has been in history is seen in the Prado and its collections," said Falomir.
The coming 12 months will see an enormous number of activities to celebrate the anniversary and highlight key moments in art history.
"We want to show special attention to the works of the great Spanish artist, Diego Velazquez, to the Italian Quattrocento, to the Flemish School which is exemplified by Rembrandt, the work of female artists and our own history as a museum," explained the Director.
There will be many "open doors" events in the coming year, while many famous paintings from the Prado museum will be put on display in cities throughout Spain. Meanwhile, art lovers will be able to enjoy many innovative projects, such as a "projection mapping" on the museum's facade on November 24.
This Friday saw the opening of the special "1819-2019: a Place of Memory" exhibition which focuses on the 200-year history of the Prado museum.
"We can see the Prado's history divided into eight periods which are organized in chronological order, with special attention given to showing how the link between the museum and society has grown," the exhibition curator Javier Portus explained to Xinhua.
Portus believed that Spain sees the Prado Museum as a key part of the country's culture. "What we have here is an authentic treasure," he concluded.