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National Archaeological Museum: Historical restoration of a Spanish institution

08/21/2014

Following the most ambitious renovation in its 147-year history, the doors of Spain’s National Archaeological Museum are once again open to the public. ACCIONA Infastructure has left its imprint on this neoclassical jewel, a protected site of special cultural interest in the city of Madrid. Complete restoration has transported this emblematic monument well and truly into the 21st century.

The long queues said it all. Expectation was running high before the reopening of Spain’s most important history museum. After more than six years closed to the public, the patient visitors were not to be disappointed. A profound aesthetic and architectural change in the institution awaited them - yet the establishment has still managed to preserve its time-old magic.

ACCIONA Infrastructure, charged with the architectural restoration and museology of the project, performed a central role in the transformation of this illustrious edifice into a more accessible, eco-efficient space adapted to new norms and regulations.

Ambitious remodeling

Museo Arqueológico NacionalIt is not every day a Company participates in a project involving the restoration of a historic building, housing an institution as prestigious as the National Archaeological Museum (MAN), where famous exhibits such as the Lady of Elche, and the Osuna Bull, sit at home alongside Egyptian mummies, Greco-Roman ceramics and Visigoth weaponry. Founded in 1867 by Queen Isabel II, by means of a Royal Decree, the MAN is located in the National Library and Museums Palace, designed in 1866 by Francisco Jareño and completed in 1892 under the supervision of Antonio Ruíz de Salces.

ACCIONA Infrastructure threw itself into this challenge of the most ambitious renovation of the museum in its long history, one it more than overcame. That was thanks to the involvement of over 130 professionals from diverse activity areas in ACCIONA, from Engineering to Installations and R&D, directed by Francisco Romero, who has more than two decades of experience in the restoration of museums.

Maximizing the space

Museo Arqueológico NacionalMuseum director Andrés Carretero enthused that the renovation had been “total and absolute”, a rationalization of space that has led to a 30% increase in the exhibition surface area of the museum to nearly 10,000 m2. The restored galleries comprise four floors, two covered patios and 40 rooms connected along a 3 km tour through the ages which takes in over 13,000 archaeological exhibits.

The restoration of the National Archaeological Museum is yet another demonstration of the extraordinary sensitivity and professionalism of ACCIONA Infrastructure in this kind of operation. ACCIONA’s long experience in building museums and managing exhibitions, along with the constant innovative efforts of its fine multi-skilled team, have brought ACCIONA Infrastructure international renown for its pioneering work in this field.

 

Read the story of the National Archaeological Museum: Restoring the past

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