Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday, the Catalan Government confirmed that a framework agreement has been reached with the project promoters and the Russian authorities, with the green light from Barcelona’s City Council, to allow the opening of an Hermitage Centre in Barcelona. However the final details are still pending negotiation. Barcelona’s Hermitage would be built using foreign and private funds, as no public money from any Catalan institution is to be allocated to the centre. The Spokesperson for the Catalan Government, Francesc Homs, confirmed that the Catalan President, Artur Mas, will sign the agreement during his trip to Russia, scheduled for between Wednesday and Friday. Barcelona’s Hermitage will very likely occupy three old warehouses located at the city port, in front of the beach and the luxury hotel W. Two weeks ago, it was known that the Hermitage, some Russian investors, the Catalan Culture Ministry, the Barcelona City Council and Barcelona’s Port Authority were talking through the possibility of opening a branch of the Saint Petersburg’s museum in the Catalan capital. Talks started eight months ago. The Hermitage has already opened other centres outside Saint Petersburg, in Amsterdam, Ferrara (Italy) and Kazan (Russia). It also opened branches in Las Vegas and London, but currently they are closed.
It is very likely that Barcelona’s Hermitage Centre will be set up in a privileged location, at the end of the Barceloneta neighbourhood, in three warehouses built in the 19th century, included in the city catalogue and located on the dock of one of the old harbour and one hundred meters away from the beach. The museum will be next to the modern buildings of the US-run hotel W, the headquarters of Desigual and the Pasqual Maragall Foundation to Fight Alzheimer’s, which is a world-leading research centre on this illness. The museum will also be neighbours with two future luxury marinas, to be built in Barcelona’s old harbour and in front of the W Hotel.
The architectural project, developed by the Catalan architect Ujo Pallarés and his studio Ars Spatitum, would fully renovate the old warehouses, which would have their own dock and three floors, including a basement. It would keep the old façades, adding upper floors in a stylish new structure. Barcelona’s Hermitage would have a permanent collection and space for temporary exhibitions. In addition it would have an auditorium and a restaurant.