Following a year of renovation, the Majorca Diocesan Museum will officially be reopened on Thursday evening and with a new name. The Majorca Museum of Sacred Art will reflect a change of emphasis to thematic exhibition. There are four themed areas: Jesus Christ, the Mother of God, the Church, and the Saints.
Mercè Gambus, the scientific and technical coordinator at the Cathedral, says there is an "immense fund" of some 1,400 items that have come from churches, parishes, monasteries and convents all over the island. Fifty major works are to be on permanent display. Cristina Ortiz, who is in charge of the Cathedral's cultural managements, adds that it will be "an exhibition in constant and open movement so as to reveal all the religious heritage on the island".
There is continuity with the museum as it was, and this is represented, for example, by Pere Niçard's Sant Jordi (Saint George) altarpiece, which dates from the mid-fiifteenth century. A more recent work, one from 1887, is Solitud de la Verge (Solitude or Desolation of the Virgin) by Majorcan Ricard Anckermann. Ottherwise, Ortiz highlights in particular the two silver rimonim. These have never left the Cathedral, they having been acquired in 1493. They were from the Cammarata synagogue. When the Jews were expelled from the island in that year, these items were apparently sold to a Majorcan merchant who then gave them to the Cathedral as an offering to the Virgin.
Gambus says of them that they are "possibly the oldest preserved examples in the world".
For more information about the museum and its exhibitions, go to www.museuartsacredemallorca.org.