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NEXT month, German car giant, Mercedes-Benz, will be presenting their new Class SLK model to the world at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Palma, an occasion which is to be attended by 700 journalists from 52 different countries. Directors of the “Es Baluard” museum, officially opened recently by the King & Queen, confirm that the launch will attract world-wide publicity both for the museum, Majorca and the car itself. The motoring press have said that it is a real “coup” for the island and will really put it on the motoring map. This project takes “Es Baluard” into the same category as other national and international museums such as Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Reina Sofía, the MACBA, the IVAM, the Guggenheim, the Pompidou and the Tate Modern, in which installations have been set aside for rent. Profits from such ventures such as the Mercedes-Benz promotion, will be reinvested into “Es Baluard” to improve the quality of cultural programmes and widen the themes of exhibitions for public viewing. Spokesmen for the museum believe that the choice of Majorca made by Mercedes-Benz to introduce its new range of cars will underpin a “major boost” for quality tourism. Journalists invited to the occasion will be taken on a guided tour of the premises on arrival before gathering in the auditorium for the Press conference and technical presentation of the new car model. Journalists will then embark on “test runs” around the island, in which they will be able to enjoy the countryside, the local food and the cultural heritage of the island. Mercedes-Benz has previously set up exhibitions in other European museums such as Diechtorhallen in Hamburg and the Kunsthalle Shirn in Frankfurt. The exhibition will take place in the auditorium of the musuem over a period of 15 days. Thanks to the restoration of “Es Baluard” (which once formed part of the city wall fortifications) at the beginning of the 19th century, and the construction of the modern and Contemporary Art Museum, a large 17th century cistern has now been refurbished. This aljibe (water cistern) was once used to supply ships anchored in the Bay of Palma and now forms one of the most striking features of the museum.
Located at Plaça Porta, Santa Catalina in Palma, “Es Baluard” is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 8pm. Admission is 6 euros, 4.5 euros on Tuesdays. Tel. 971-908200.