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Museum Of Art Of Puerto Rico Opens Its Doors

by Ivonne Garcia

July 1, 2000
Copyright © 2000 PuertoRicoWOW NEWS SERVICE. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN — With a snip of the scissors on a yellow ribbon, Gov. Pedro Rossello on Friday inaugurated the $55 million Museum of Art of Puerto Rico (MA), which opens its doors to the public Saturday.

The building, which in the 1920s housed the San Juan Municipal Hospital, is now a vision of stained glass, brass railings and murals located on seven acres that also boast a garden with waterfalls and a pond.

The MA's inaugural exhibit, "Treasures of Puerto Rican Painting," will run from July 1 to Jan. 7, 2001 and includes 253 paintings that are exhibited in 15 halls through the museum's main floors. The museum, located in front of the Minillas Government Center, also includes a store and several restaurants, as well as classrooms and art workshops.

Rossello spoke at a podium in front of the intricate "mundillo" lace curtain in the 400-seat theater and said the museum is for "a beautiful people in a beautiful land."

Government Development Bank (GDB) President Lourdes Rovira praised members of her staff that worked on the museum's development, including those who began under the leadership of former GDB President Marcos Rodriguez-Ema, who is now chairman of the museum's Board of Trustees.

"This was accomplished through a lot of hard work," Rodriguez-Ema said, adding that Rossello had challenged him and then-Tourism Co. Executive Director Luis Fortuño several years ago to make the museum's dream come true.

Rodriguez-Ema thanked architects Luis Gutierrez and Otto Reyes for their work.

"Treasures of Puerto Rican Painting" includes works by Puerto Rican painting greats such as Jose Campeche (18th century) and Francisco Oller (19th century), as well as contemporary masters such as Francisco Rodon, Antonio Martorell and Myrna Baez, among others.

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