From: Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America
7.1 (1987): 83.
Copyright © 1987, The Cervantes Society of America
Update on the Cervantes Museum in Madrid
In my recent visit to Madrid (April, 1987),
I was shown the site of the Cervantes Museum by its founder, the President
of the Sociedad Cervantina, Juan Antonio Cabezas. He is the author of the
biography Cervantes: del mito al hombre (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva,
Behind the most of the wall next to calle Atocha 85, the site of the seventeenth-century Juan de la Cuesta print shop, there was actually no structure at all, so most of the 300 million pesetas that don Juan Antonio raised was for new construction. On the ground level, at the entry, there is a place for an old-style printing press (which he hopes to get in Valencia or Mallorca) on which souvenir pages from the Quijote can be printed. Next to the entry area there is a large exposition area (looking to be about 25' by 40').
On the second floor, there is an exposition area of equal size, and a library room. There is also a small theater, seating about 100, that can be used for the production of entremeses or lectures. The third floor is mostly for the administration of the museum.
The commemorative plaque outside the building placed in 1905 depicts Don Quixote and Sancho on Rocinante and Dapple, leaving for their quests from the Cuesta printshop. Overseeing the scene is a bust of Cervantes which has been headless for decades. Juan Antonio says it was falling debris that decapitated the statue. The plaque will be cleaned, and the head restored, based on the statue (by the same sculptor) at the Plaza de España.
The structure is virtually complete now (it was being painted while I was there), but appears to be a couple of years before it will be functioning as a museum.
Thomas A. Lathrop
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