The European Commission praises the Museo Nacional del Prado's implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan

News - 2024.3.14

14/03/2024. The European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, during his visit to the Museo Nacional del Prado. The European Commissio... The European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, during his visit to the Museo Nacional del Prado

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The European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, - accompanied by the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and G20 of the Presidency of the Government, Manuel de la Rocha, and the Director General of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts from the Ministry of Culture, Isaac Sastre, - was able to learn this morning about the actions, as an example of good practice, carried out by the Museo Nacional del Prado in implementing 'Component 24. Reappraisal of the Cultural Industry' by the Ministry of Culture in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan funded by the European Union.

Through the Ministry of Culture, the Museo Nacional del Prado requested 19,014,874.25 euros and has used 92% of the funds, becoming a benchmark in managing these funds. This translates into a project called Campus Prado, Digital and Training which consists of 7 lines of action (giving rise to 21 activities and a total of 69 contracting files) with an amount of 17,438,671.17 euros. The investment envisaged a completion milestone of December 2023, a target that was met.

In addition, the Museum participated in the investment of 'Component C14. Plan for the Modernisation and Competitiveness of the Tourism Sector' with a project for the conservation and rehabilitation of historical heritage for tourism use, formalised by agreement between the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Culture. In this investment, the Museum has a budget of 1,060,780.38 euros for the 'Restoration of the roofs of the 1st and 2nd north-eastern extension of the Villanueva building of the Museo Nacional del Prado' project. The actions derived from this agreement set a deadline for the second quarter of 2026, although the Museum expects to complete the project in the second quarter of 2024, which means that it expects to fulfil its commitment.

The Museum will also participate in the 'First professional experience programme in public administrations' of Investment C23.I1 Youth Employment, of 'Component 23. New public policies for a dynamic, resilient and inclusive labour market', which aims to develop a plan of first professional experiences within the services provided by public administrations. To enable this participation, the Museum has 425,800.44 euros in subsidies from the Public State Employment Service, which will be used to cover the labour costs of hiring 13 unemployed young people over 16 and under 30 years of age. The type of contract will be a trainee contract with a maximum duration of 12 months. The Museum expects to finalise the selection and recruitment of applicants during the first quarter of 2024, with an estimated completion date of the first quarter of 2025.

Among these actions - aimed at adapting the management and infrastructure of the institution, its commitment to the digital transition and its consolidation as a quality educational environment - are digital solutions and experiences that favour the museum's research and conservation work, such as an X-ray fluorescence scanner, a high spatial resolution multi-spectral imaging system and equipment to analyse, document and reproduce 3D frames.

Digital Solutions and Experiences for the Technical Documentation Service

In 2022, an X-ray fluorescence scanner was acquired that provides maps with the distribution of many of the chemical elements that make up works of art, which can be associated with specific pigments present in painting, drawing and sculpture or with metals used in sculpture or medals. Between 2018 and 2021, the theoretical development for the construction of a high-definition spectral imaging system to analyse works of art was carried out as part of a national R&D project within the "R&D projects, knowledge generation and research challenges 2018" programme. The aim was to optimise the research carried out in the Museum's Technical Office with infrared reflectography devices, one of the most promising examination methods in museum laboratories.

Having researched the reflectography cameras available on the market - none of which met the requirements of the institution in the 21st century - the necessary elements were acquired in 2023 to build a multi-spectral analysis device, covering the range of the electromagnetic spectrum between ultraviolet and thermal infrared (400-5000 nm). This innovative system represents a breakthrough in analysis methods to study of works of art and improves some of the technical shortcomings of existing equipment. This is a unique prototype, not available on the market, to analyse works of art and efficiently integrate the data obtained, which positions the Museo del Prado as a national and international benchmark centre in inspection techniques for the study of works of art and consolidates its position as a research centre with the capacity to design, implement and manage systems to analyse national heritage.

Digital Solutions and Experiences for the Frames Restoration Workshop

The aim of this project is to guarantee the conservation, study, documentation and reproduction of this collection of frames, made up of around 8,000 pieces, in order to serve as a documentary archive for the subsequent reproduction of them.

Through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan financed by the European Union, a robotised handheld 3D laser scanner, a 3D printer with SLA technology and double extrusion 3D printer, scanning and printing equipment designed specifically for the Museo Nacional del Prado were acquired, installed and put into use to study, document and reproduce frames.

The need to improve the framing of the MNP's major works, as well as the need to study them in order to produce reliable period reproductions, underpin the aim of this project. Having a library with its own digital archives will help to study the frames in detail, improve the quality of reproductions, reduce costs and increase the speed of reproduction. It will also be used as a support in restoration, with the possibility of reproducing partial areas of lost pieces.

Non official translation