Generalitat de Catalunya: Return assets dispossessed to the Monastery of Sijena
The Royal Monastery of Sijena, founded in 1188, a jewel of Spanish Romanesque Art, royal pantheon of Aragon declared National Monument in 1923, has been repeatedly plundered, beginning with the stripping of the unique Romanesque paintings (13th century) from the Chapter Hall during the Spanish Civil War.
The National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC) and the Generalitat of Catalunya have been condemned in two sentences (July 2016 and April 2015) to return murals and 97 works of art and objects stored or exhibited in the MNAC and in the Diocesan Museum of Lerida, and whose alleged titles of property or possession have been rejected in the courts.
Although the courts have ordered full compliance with the two judgements, only 51 pieces that were not exposed, out of the 97 that belong to the Monastery, have been returned, and the mural paintings of the Chapter Hall still remain in the MNAC.
The declaration as National Monument in 1923 implies a special measure of protection for the Monastery and its contents. The position of the Generalitat is contrary to the rule of law. It legitimizes the misdeeds of the Civil War and the plunderers and disparages the values and powers of Aragon’s self-government in cultural matters. The implausible and selfish reasons that the Generalitat cites to avoid returning the assets, have been refuted by important experts.
The Aragonese people, all Catalans of goodwill who recognize that this situation of injustice does not benefit the Catalan society, and people from all over the world with moral conscience urge the Catalan authorities to fully comply with the sentences. We demand that the President of the Generalitat comply with what the Justice dictates and to return the assets of Sijena that should never have left Aragon.
We also demand that, if this is not done , all the measures provided for by law to enforce judgments be implemented, including their enforced execution by the judicial police.
The signatures collected in this campaign will be delivered at the gates of the Generalitat of Catalunya in a massive public event to which all the people who support us are invited and the details will be announced on the page of the Sijena Platform Sí: http://www.sijenasi.com/
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