Museums and Sales

Today we went to the Thyssen Museum to see an exhibition of the Impressionist art of the plein air.  Here is the museum:

Thyssen Museum


The selection of paintings was great but they were arranged in a very strange way. There was a room called “Rocks,” another one called “Clouds,” yet another one called “Trees,” etc. As a result, paintings were jumbled together irrespective of their chronology or the movement they represented. This made the exhibition more difficult to enjoy because many paintings really jarred by each other’s side.

I wondered why such an excessively formal approach was used to place the paintings. However, when we entered the museum’s souvenir store, my sister (who has an education as a marketing specialist) immediately understood what was going on. The store was filled with items that featured clouds, rocks, and trees. This way of arranging the paintings was simply an opportunity to sell items that would otherwise not have a chance of moving at a museum store.

Palacio Real

The Royal Palace in Madrid is very beautiful:

Palacio Real


The current King of Spain is currently in the hospital, recovering from an operation. Unlike the British monarch, Spain’s Juan Carlos I actually has a not-entirely-insignificant political role (other than distracting the general public from the problems the country faces with the endless family melodrama, which is obviously the only function of the British royal family.)

The King doesn’t live in this palace, though. Nowadays, it is a museum.

I don’t like this King because he had been a total suck-up to the fascist dictator Franco for decades and then had the gall to say that he had simply been pretending to support the dictatorship in order to maintain alive the hope of reestablishing the monarchy. As an important Spanish historian said, “We seem to have had franquismo without any actual franquistas.”


It is very heartening to see that the Jewish people are willing to give Spain another chance. Here is what we found on our walk around the old center of Madrid:

Casa Sefarad 1
Their Majesties the King and Queen and the President of the State of Israel inaugurated House of Sepharad on February 22, 2011

For now, the House of Sepharad offers a cultural center and a small museum open to the public.

Casa Sefarad 3

Casa Sefarad 2


After visiting the House of Sepharad, we walked over to the imposing Royal Palace (“Ah, at least all the killings and plunder served some purpose,” my Peruvian brother-in-law commented when he heard about the visit.) In front of the palace of the Spanish Kings a Latin American gentleman was playing “Hava Nagila” on an accordion.



There is a great lesson of history here: you can oppress and persecute all you want but eventually you will end up on the trash heap of history while the oppressed will sing and dance on your grave.