On July 25 officials in Barcelona got the keys to the home containing the art collection that the late industrialist Julio Muñoz Ramonet had left to the city, only to discover that some of its most valuable pieces are missing. The collector, who died in 1991, had amassed a collection of more than 500 works — including pieces by Goya, El Greco, Rembrandt, Monet, and more — but fewer than 300 were found after a court ruling awarded the works to the city, Voz Populi reports.
The city of Barcelona established the Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation in 1995, which was one of the conditions it had to meet in order to take possession of the prized collection. But the transfer of the works’ ownership has been marred in legal disputes ever since. The July 25 court decision finally allowed the city to formally take possession of the works. But upon arrival at Ramonet’s Muntaner estate it became clear that many works were missing, with marks on the home’s walls where paintings had hung for years.
A 1987 survey of the collection’s 19 most valuable works pegged their worth at over $13 million. Jaume Siurana, Barcelona’s councilor for culture, said his staff is currently developing a checklist of all the pieces in Ramonet’s collection at the time of his death to determine which works are missing.
— Benjamin Sutton