Barcelona Cultura
  • History

The legacy

The estate on calle de Muntaner, 282-288, was owned by Ferran Fabra i Puig, second Marquis of Alella. At a later date Muñoz Ramonet purchased it and ceded it to the city of Barcelona. After years of disputes – as yet it has not been possible to recover a large part of the art collection – in July 2014 the legacy became part of the city’s patrimony.

In his last will, dated April 1988, Muñoz Ramonet bequeathed his inheritance as following:

C) the estate on calle de Muntaner 282-288 in Barcelona, will be transferred, including the park and gardens, the palace located at calle de Porvenir 26-28 with all its content, to a Foundation established in my name. The Foundation’s aim will be to preserve and maintain these premises to be visited and used by the general public under the patronage of the City of Barcelona;”

On the 8th July 1991, the entrepreneur’s daughters formalised the acceptance of the inheritance as universal heirs. The existence of this inheritance was not communicated to the executors. In 1994, once this legacy was discovered, the Ayuntamiento de Barcelona [Barcelona City Council] created the Fundació Julio Muñoz Ramonet.

Procedimiento judicial

From 1995, the Fundació Julio Muñoz Ramonet has been working to fulfil the explicit wish expressed by Muñoz Ramonet in his will, that is to bequeath his legacy to the City of Barcelona. The Ayuntamiento de Barcelona [Barcelona City Council] was not aware of his will, until four years after his death.

During the 23 years of court proceedings, there was one date which was key during the legal claim made by the Foundation: the Supreme Court judgement of 14 March 2012. This judgement determined that the estate on calle de Muntaner together with the buildings and all their content was to be bequeathed to the Fundació Julio Muñoz Ramonet. Its content is described in the sale inventory of 1971 and in the judicial inventories of 1998 and 2015. The art collection of Ròmul Bosch i Catarineu features in all these inventories.

After the said judgement, the estate composed of the garden, the two buildings and their content, was recovered on 25 July 2013. The following was documented, after the inventory of the content was carried out: 1,364 pieces of furniture, of which 65 were paintings and sculptures, 7 tapestries and 2 decorative art pieces of heritage value. As of 29 June 2017, two of the most important paintings of the art collection were given by court order on a long-term loan to the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC). These were: The Annunciation by El Greco and The Apparition of the Virgin of the Pillar by Goya. However, many of the objects described in the sentence’s inventory have yet to be recovered. The Foundation is focusing all its efforts to locate and recover them. According to the expert report drafted by the Heritage Department of the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB) [Culture Institute of Barcelona] and specialised art experts, there were 389 paintings, drawings and sculptures of great artistic value missing, the majority of which were part of the Bosch i Caterineu collection.

In July 2018, 18 paintings were recovered from different periods. They are currently stored at the MNAC.