Romanesque buildings Vall de Boi

December 3, 2012 by  

Romanesque buildings Vall de Boi, The Churches of the Vall de Boi are a set of nine Early Romanesque churches declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO and located in the Vall de Boi, in the Catalan comarque of Alta Ribagorça (Province of Lleida).
During the early 20th century there was a major effort to study and catalog the Romanesque wall paintings in the churches of the Vall de Boi area. This activity was driven by both the academic interests of scholars, and by art dealers, whose only motives were financial gain. Between 1905 and 1909 the Board of the Museums of Barcelona printed faithful reproductions of these Pyrenean frescoes, and the publication of these works unleashed a desire for their acquisition by museums and private collectors. By 1919 many intermediaries were involved in buying and selling these works, which went mostly to museums and private collections within the United States.

The Taüll region became an exception to this trend, since the local population refused to allow the frescoes and other art works to leave their churches. This action was escalated to the level of the Commonwealth of Catalonia and to the bishop of La Seu d’Urgell. Finally, it was agreed that the frescoes would be best kept in the National Museum of Catalan Art (MNAC), secure from possible theft or unscrupulous transactions. A team of Italian restorers carried out the task of removing the paintings from the walls and, in some cases, replacing the works with in situ reproductions.

The Taüll Romanesque paintings preserved in MNAC have since become world famous. Interest by art academics and professionals has led to a systematic study of all other remaining Romanesque murals of the Vall de Boi area, and most of these are now in safe protection at MNAC in Barcelona and at the Museum of Vic.

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