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The great names of 20th-century art are well represented, with Picasso's Guernica being the jewel in the crown. Oh, and it's haunted.

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Reina Sofía Museum

Spain's most visited museum, a contemporary-art extravaganza.

Named after Spain's current Queen Mother, Queen Sofía, one of Europe's most prominent modern art museums opened its doors in 1990 and is the country's most visited museum in Spain (and the 12th most visited in the world). The permanent collection is comprised of some 20,000 works dating from the end of the 19th century to the present day, with pride of place given to modern masters such as Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso. The crown jewel in the Reina Sofía collection is the huge and searing painting Guernica by Picasso, its subject a terrible aerial bombardment during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. The museum actually has several sites; the main one, the former Hospital General de Madrid at Calle Santa Isabel 52, is also famous, by the way, for its supposed ghosts, poltergeists and other paranormal activity. The three others are the Nouvel building on Ronda de Atocha and two in Retiro Park (Palacio de Cristal and Palacio Velázquez). There are excellent temporary exhibitions here all the time, as well. Note that unlike most other museums, they are closed on Tuesdays instead of Mondays.



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