Sunday, July 3

Taking a banned photo is only ‘rock and roll’ if Mick Jagger does it

Rolling Stones has returned to Spain on tour. sixties It begins this Wednesday the 1st in the capital and will take you to 14 more European cities this summer. A musical opportunity for their fans and a promotional opportunity for the Madrid City Council, which boasted of having designed a route of essential activities around the city for them. This is how they kill two birds with one stone: they promote tourism in Madrid and show off their chests for being the place selected to start the tour out of all the places in Europe (and Spain).

Dance in front of ‘Guernica’

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Such is the importance that this visit has for the capital, that the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art opened its doors last Tuesday only for Mick Jagger and his team. The problem came when the group’s vocalist uploaded a selection of photos to his social networks where he is seen posing in front of the Guernica by Picasso, the jewel of the Reina Sofía. Museum rules prohibit any visitor from being photographed with the painting, but there are always exceptions.

Much of the response to Jagger’s tweet mentions this favored treatment, of which he may remain oblivious. “Demigod advantage,” some pointed out. “They almost ripped my hand off the day I tried to photograph Guernica. But I’m not Mick Jagger, of course,” said another user.

Sources from the museum admit to that they found the photo on the singer’s profile and that, at the moment, they do not plan to echo the snapshot on their own networks. They assure that it is not a promotional strategy, like the one they did in 2016 with actor Pierce Brosnan. In that case, it was the Reina Sofía Twitter account that posted the photo – “Our Guernica has received a visit from the cinema” – but the criticism was not long in coming and the institution issued a statement.

“This is an initiative that seeks to promote knowledge of the work and the museum, both inside and outside of Spain, and to take advantage of the opportunity that a person from the world of culture has decided to visit the Reina Sofía during their stay. in Madrid”, said the note. Now, with Jagger, they admit that the promotion may be a side effect, but that it was never intended. Despite the fact that the Reina Sofía has lost half of its visitors since 2016, they have not turned to the rock star to alleviate this drop.

The art gallery alleges that the rule was not issued to protect the work but to improve the comfort of visitors. They recognize that painting does not suffer because the most frequent cameras are those of the mobile and they do not use the flash. Nor is it due to a question of rights, since the work is one of the most reproduced in the Spanish imaginary and artistic space without them receiving any compensation.

“It is a matter of the quality of the visit, because people stayed for a quarter of an hour taking photos or the sticks selfie they gave to other people”, say these sources. The image they describe is the one that is given every day in front of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, in the Louvre. Dozens of people crowded in front of the painting, putting their arms out between their heads and struggling to pose next to the Italian’s muse. Such is the crowd, that last weekend the glass that covers the work received a cake from a visitor without the security of the room preventing it.

Jagger did not have this problem, nor was it for anyone else, because the visit was done in private for his team. He was accompanied by the director of the art gallery, Manuel Borja-Villel. The museum also warns that they receive millions of visits every day and that they do not “chasing everyone” who wants to take a photo. For this reason, they declare, there are visitors on foot who also have their postcard in front of the Guernica. In addition, they point out that the public can take pictures in the remaining 90% of the museum.

This room at the Reina Sofía has also been loaned on occasions for events, such as last National Dance Day, where the National Ballet Company performed in front of the painting, or for institutional visits. Last October, the Picasso Commission posed with her and, in 2020, President Pedro Sánchez showed it to his Italian counterpart, Giuseppe Conte, and the museum let visitors photographers from La Moncloa will immortalize the moment.