Madrid's Reina Sofia Contemporary Art Center Expands Again

Less than 4 years after architect Jean Nouvel completed the striking new addition to the Reina Sofia Museum, the museum’s director Manuel Borja-Villel has announced expansion and new offerings to come soon. The Reina Sofia, which is housed in a building that was Madrid‘s General Hospital when inaugurated in 1781 (designed originally by Francisco Sabatini and Juan de Hermosilla) and was converted into an art museum in 1980, will diversify and increase the museum’s exhibitions over the next year. In 2009 the museum will feature poetry readings and dance performances to take advantage of the new semi-covered terraced wing designed by Nouvel. Renovations are also planned through 2010 although the museum will not close. More natural light, more exhibition space and a gallery where the bookshop used to be are among the changes that visitors will see. Also projected for 2010 is a complete study of the museum’s most famous work, Picasso’s Guernica, which is currently undergoing a series of tests to determine its state of preservation.

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