By Humphrey Carter
MAJORCA'S current transformation into a cultural tourism destination has not only caught the eye of the United States' holiday market but also one of the country's leading newspapers.

This weekend, The Boston Globe's lead travel feature was about Majorca, “an island full of continental pleasures,” and focused on Palma's new Es Baluard Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, its founder Pere Serra and all the culture the island has to offer.

Serra tells The Boston Globe that he helped create the museum to make Majorca more like other resort towns which have museums and cultural attractions like Nice and Cannes and, according to The Globe “he is getting his wish.” Hailed as a “vibrant city” Palma is described as “ a lively amalgamation of narrow, winding streets, outdoor cafes, shops and eclectic architecture that reflects its history from Roman times to the present... “Palma is a bustling metropolis with the feel of a seaside town. You can eat well, drink well and, for the most part, you can walk everywhere.” Globe correspondent Necee Regis says that both Es Baluard, with its collection of art which spans 1900 to the present day, and the Miro Foundation have to be seen, not only for their artistic value, but architectural qualities.

Leaving Palma on her cultural tour, she heads north east to the Ben Jakober Foundation and home of the artistic couple, an old farmhouse which they commissioned an Egyptian architect to convert in 1978.

The property also houses the under-ground museum of art from the 16th to 19th centuries by painters from all over Europe.
Next stop, Valldemossa and the monk's cell, which was once home to Frederic Chopin and the writer George Sand in the winter of 1838-39, the two pianos he left behind along with the hand written books to help pay the rent.

In stark contrast, Regis swaps the monk's cell for the Gran Hotel Son Net in the village of Puigpunyent.
Owned and renovated by fellow-American David Stein, the luxury hotel also houses an impressive collection of modern art including original works by Warhol, Hockney and Longo. “To be sure, there is more culture on the island than what is found in the capital, some of it in surprising and out of the way places,” Regis writes.
The US market is one the local government and tourism authorities would love to cultivate for its spending power. Travel features like the one in The Boston Globe will help to put Majorca on the map for US tourists visiting Europe, especially those on the trail of culture and art.

Only last month did Majorca combine a presentation of local produce to the Californian market with the commemoration of the Majorcan Franciscan monk Juniper Serra. Fra Serra founded nine missions in California, all of which became large cities like San Francisco, San Diego and Carmel.

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