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The Museo Picasso Málaga received a total of 342,824 visitors last year to reach an overall figure of 1,115,818 admissions since the Museum first opened its doors in October 2003. An average of 1,099 people per day came to the MPM to view the works in the Collection, visit the temporary exhibitions held at the Museum and take part in the different educational and cultural activities organised.

The Museo Picasso Málaga seeks to make each visit a unique experience in discovering and enjoying the art of Pablo Picasso. To this end, the Museum offers the opportunity not only to admire its permanent collection, but also to view temporary exhibitions of the highest quality and to take part in the most varied of activities. The Museum’s work in this regard has led to 342,824 visitors in 2006, an average of 1,099 people per day, bringing the overall total to 1,115,818 admissions to the Museum since it first opened its doors in October 2003.

The MPM hosted the following temporary exhibitions in 2006: Picasso. Ceramics and Tradition, which opened in 2005 and was visited by a total of 62,919 people";" The Picassos from Antibes, which attracted 83,485 visitors";" Picasso Seen by Otero (50,362 visitors)“;” and Picasso. Muses and Models, open into 2007 and visited by 71,535 people up to December 31. All these exhibitions enabled the public to discover different aspects, some of them little-known, about the work of the great Andalusian artist, whilst the acquisition of Roberto Otero’s photographic and documentary archives represents an additional contribution to this task.

Educational work

The principal complement to the MPM’s work of conserving the permanent collection and staging temporary shows are the educational activities that the Museum organises. Activities designed for every audience, from young children to adults, from schools to associations of people with disabilities. A total of 28,100 people took part in nearly 1,700 activities organised in 2006, including workshops, courses and tours, among others.

Of these 28,100 visitors, 11,740 were schoolchildren attending guided tours entitled From the Classroom to the Museum, whilst a further 2,889 had fun as they learned at two workshops, Families and Imaginary Characters. Finally, 455 children and parents spent Saturday mornings at the Museum, taking part in guided tours for families entitled Tell Me What You See.

As regards activities for adult audiences, nearly 12,600 people registered for different types of visits designed especially for them: Discovering the Collection, Gallery Talks and guided tours for adults from Malaga province and for specific groups.

Similarly important was the work to bring Picasso’s art to people with disabilities, as the MPM organised visits adapted for people with mental disabilities, the blind and the deaf. A total of nearly 500 people took part in the activities organised specifically for such groups in 2006.

Other activities in 2006 included the courses for tourist guides and teachers which were organised once more, and the publication of the notebook for children Veo, veo. ¿Qué ves?, in Spanish, available free of charge from the Museum ticket office.

Several institutions lent valuable support for the organisation of these educational activities, including the Malaga Association of Spanish Centres, the Federated Association for the Deaf, the Teachers Centre, the Autonomous Government of Andalusia’s Directorate-General for the Elderly and ONCE Malaga. Similarly, the agreement signed in March with the University of Malaga led to stable cooperation over various programmes of an academic nature.

Lectures and events

The conferences organised parallel to the exhibitions brought many internationally renowned experts on Picasso’s work to Malaga. For instance, in January, Professor Estrella de Diego spoke on the subject of Picasso and popular culture in a lecture linked to the exhibition Picasso. Ceramics and Tradition. Coinciding with The Picassos from Antibes, moreover, the lecture season Picasso and the Mediterranean began in late-March, providing audiences with the opportunity to listen to such experts as Robert Rosenblum, Kenneth Silver, Natasha Staller, Eugenio Carmona, María Teresa Ocaña and Jean-Louis Andral as they spoke about the influence of the Mediterranean cultural context on this universal artist. Finally, in October, Professor Robert Lubar was joined by Professor Estrella de Diego on the presence of women in Picasso’s work.

Besides these lectures, the MPM Auditorium was also the venue for showings of the documentaries Picasso and El Guernica en el Museo del Prado, both made by the film director Luis Revenga";" the presentation of the book Picasso. Poèmes";" and the celebration of the First Symposium on Malaga in Antiquity. The Auditorium also hosted the concerts Voice and Piano for Picasso, by the mezzo-soprano Elena Gragera and the pianist Antón Cardó, and performances by the Montserrat Boys’ Choir.

Other events included the guided tours given by the poet Aurora Luque, the painter Enrique Brinkmann and the writer Alfredo Taján for Picasso: en clave de autor (Picasso: An Artist’s View), the Night of Museums organised in the spring and the Night with Picasso which took place in the autumn, all of which were great popular successes.

The tradition of offering free admission on the last Sunday of every month has now become consolidated, particularly amongst art-lovers from Malaga itself, who also responded enthusiastically to the invitation to visit the Museum free of charge on October 25, the 125th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s birth. Indeed, this occasion was marked by the highest number of visitors for a single day in 2006: a total of 2,715.

Sponsors, and an award

The MPM’s constant efforts to bring Picasso’s work to the public have received the invaluable support of institutions and businesses whose commitment to spreading the enjoyment of art helped to make such activities possible. These sponsors are: Unicaja, Canal Sur RTVA, Diputación Provincial de Malaga, Vocento, Grupo Joly, Fundación AENA – which recently renewed its sponsorship agreement – and Cervezas San Miguel.

Finally, early in the year, the Museo Picasso Málaga was among the ten architectural projects chosen by the American Institute of Architects to receive the 2006 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. Selecting the MPM from among more than 400 entries from all over the world, the jury commented that this was “a beautiful job of restoration architecture… It is appropriately modest, weaving a museum into the fabric of this Mediterranean city”.