• 2020.06.25
  • Reunited
As a measure to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus infection, authorities have requested that activities be suspended at facilities not deemed “necessary and urgent” for sustaining everyday life, such as places of entertainment, theaters, meeting halls and exhibition facilities, exercise and amusement facilities, and educational facilities, which probably means they deem such places to be “non-urgent, although possibly not unnecessary.” For those who don’t have a bath at home, public baths are indispensable for daily life, but large-scale public baths have been triaged (assigned a priority level) based on a judgement that, being entertainment facilities or exercise and amusement facilities, there is no pressing need for them. Nevertheless, here in Spain, as in Japan, signs of light at the end of the tunnel are finally beginning to appear, and restrictions are being eased little by little.

Incidentally, art museums, those crowns of cultural activity, couldn’t avoid being closed because “not being able to attend such facilities would not hinder daily life for the time being," and this was the same in Spain too. I can use the past tense here because Madrid’s Museo Del Prado has opened its doors to the public with an exhibition called “Reencuentro – Reunited.” What a romantic name don’t you think?

The characters who appear in the museum’s most iconic works, primarily these characters, are looking forward to reuniting with you all. Exhibition poster on display in front of the museum.

As much care as possible has been taken with measures to prevent infection on opening, as a matter of course. Now, to begin with, visitors are obliged to wear the usual face mask, to have their temperature taken, to disinfect their hands and the soles of their shoes, and to stay at least two meters apart. In addition, the number of visitors per day is limited to a total of 1,800 people who must book in advance on the internet, only 249 works are carefully selected to go on display, and visitors must move along a pre-set itinerary as they appreciate the works. By the way, the admission fee is half the usual 15 euros: 7.5 euros for general admission, and half that again, or 3.25 euros for elderly people 65 years and over, so, you can enjoy the pearls of the Museo Del Prado for about 400 yen.

Creating this itinerary has given visitors the unique opportunity to see works in the light of a concept that differs from the past: 190 works have been relocated from where they were being exhibited in various places throughout the museum according to school and are now being exhibited by chronological order or, depending on the theme, in a format that allows visitors to compare and contrast the works.

Reunited Exhibition Itinerary

Here are some of the iconic works that have been moved from their usual exhibition rooms for the rearranged itinerary.

(1) and (2): The recently restored The Annunciation by Fra Angelico juxtaposed with The Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden.

(3) and (4): The Feast of Bacchus (The Drunkards) and The Spinners (The Fable of Arachne). This exhibition room, at the center of the Museo del Prado, features Velázquez's masterpiece Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-waiting). It replicates on the basis of historical evidence the format devised for the 1899 exhibition marking the 300th anniversary of Velázquez's birth.

(5) and (6): Rubens and Goya works competing on the same theme: Saturn Devouring a Son.

(7) and (8): These two works by Goya, The 2nd of May 1808 in Madrid and The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid, are usually displayed side by side downstairs but are displayed here facing each other under the natural light of the main hall.

Museum Director Miguel Falomir has made some inimitable comments: "This Reunited Exhibition will be a suitable antidote sedative for Prado addicts who have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms during the museum’s closure of nearly three months" and "Visitors might develop Stendhal syndrome*.”

Reencuentro - Reunited
Venue: Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum of Art), Madrid
Dates: June 6, 2020 (Sat) - September 13, 2020 (Sun)

Museo Nacional del Prado, Webpage on this exhibition:https://www.museodelprado.es/en/whats-on/exhibitions

* This syndrome was so named after the 19th-century French writer Stendhal who visited Florence and was overcome by intense palpitations while looking up at frescoes in a church and fainted from their sublime beauty. In fact, if you bend your neck back for a long time, the pressure on the cervical artery can form a small blood clot, and when you return your neck to normal position, the blood clot rises up to the brain potentially causing dizziness, headache, nausea, etc. At the hair salon, the edge of the shampooing basin can press into your neck for a long time while you are having your hair washed, so it seems that it is also called “beauty parlor stroke syndrome.” So, please beware in museums and at the hairdresser.


  • Susumu Yamada
  • JobSpanish and Japanese Translation

It’s been almost 37 years since I received a residence permit and work permit from the Spanish government and paid my first tax and social insurance premiums. Now that I’m at that age where I will soon go and register at the senior human resources center, I’m grateful to have this opportunity to introduce you all to this country that has taken care of me these many years.

View a list of Susumu Yamada's

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