Barcelona.- The rooms of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), with one of the most important collections of Romanesque art in the world and a ceramic mural by Joan Miró, have been the setting for the signing of the friendship and cooperation treaty between France and Spain, dubbed the “Barcelona Treaty”.
The classicist Palau Nacional, built for the Universal Exposition of 1929 on the mountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona and today the headquarters of the MNAC, has been the location chosen for the celebration of the Spanish-French summit, led by the presidents Pedro Sánchez and Emmanuel Macron and twenty of ministers.
Both in the bilateral meetings between ministers and in the plenary session, the works of the MNAC, which houses the largest and oldest group of Romanesque art from the 11th-13th centuries – wall paintings and collections of panel paintings – have been displayed.
Among the more than 500 works of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and modern art exhibited in the rooms that have hosted the meetings, noteworthy, for example, are the paintings in the central apse of Sant Climent de Taüll (1123), the mural painting « The stoning of Saint Stephen» from Sant Joan de Boi (1100), the Frontal de Avià (1200), as well as works by El Greco, Zurbarán, Jaume Serra and Lluís Dalmau.
MEETING WITH A VIEW
After the family photo between the Spanish and French executives, each Spanish minister has met with his French counterpart and presidents Sánchez and Macron have done the same in a part of the museum that is now the Òleum restaurant, with some of the best views of Barcelona and that 94 years ago was the Throne Room.
From the balcony of this room on the first floor, King Alfonso XIII himself inaugurated the 1929 International Exhibition and, for this reason, it was the most richly decorated room in the building.
The plenary session of the summit, with the Spanish and French government delegations, was held in the Sala de la Cúpula, another of the museum’s prominent places, since there is a large ceramic mural by Joan Miró that arrived at the MNAC in 2013 and that the Catalan painter and ceramist Joan Gardy did in 1978 commissioned by the IBM company.
The Oval Room, the great public square of this museum, has concentrated all the press and the lecterns have been located there for the signing of the treaty and the public appearance of both presidents, who have highlighted the impressiveness of the location in their interventions.
AN EXCELLENT PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP
But the friendship between the two countries goes beyond the political and today Sánchez and Macron have once again demonstrated their excellent personal relationship, which, as on previous occasions, has become visible in the physical contact between the two leaders, whether it is the two kisses with the that have greeted each other at the beginning or the affectionate embrace in which they have melted after the signing of the treaty.
Both have joked and exchanged laughs while their ministers signed the respective sectoral collaboration agreements and, this afternoon, they will share a visit together to the Picasso Museum in the city, before Macron meets with the French community in Barcelona.
The other anecdote of the day resided in whether Sánchez and the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, would talk during the institutional reception prior to the summit, while at the foot of the Montjuïc mountain some 6,500 pro-independence supporters demonstrated.
Finally, and thanks to the fact that Macron has been waiting, there has been plenty of time: Sánchez and Aragonès have shared almost three minutes of talk separately and eight more together with the mayors Ada Colau and Núria Marín, the government delegate Maria Eugènia Gay and Manuel Busquier Sáez, general inspector of the Army.
More than ten minutes together that only broke when Macron arrived: after greeting the French president, Aragonès left the group and, after going to his official car, left the area, just before the anthems of Spain and France.