Malaga: Picasso doesn't live here anymore

Trip Start Nov 07, 2013
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Trip End Dec 11, 2013


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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Friday, November 22, 2013

We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise as we sailed into Malaga. Ken and Andrea had been to the Costa del Sol twice before and actually stayed in Marbella, which is very close to Malaga.  For some stupid reason they never investigated Malaga and today they found out what they had missed.

The tour we took today was of "Picasso's Malaga’.  We walked around the old town of Malaga and went to the Picasso Museum in Malaga.  On the way to the museum we learned that Malaga has a population of 600,000 and it is the second largest city in Andalucia.  Seville is the first.  Kena nd Andrea always thought it was just a bunch of high rise hotels and apartments, but this turned out not to be true.

We unloaded our bus at the Cathedral.  We did not go in.  What has happened is that, in case your weren’t aware of it, Europe has fallen on hard economic times, especially Spain, Greece and Italy.  Spain has a 31% unemployment rate.  Many people are only earning 800 Euros a month and the rent for an apartment in Malaga is 400 Eu’s. In Spain one of the things they have done is begun charging admission to the great cathedrals, treating them as museums.  So the tours apparently don’t take you in any longer.

In Malaga you can see remnants of Phoenician, Greek, Carthagenian and Roman civilizations (see Cartagena blog for more ramblings on this).We were also told that in Malaga there are buildings left by the Moors, which include the Alcazaba and a Governor’s palace.  This is pat of Andalucia which comes from the Muslim name El Andaluse.  The speak Andalusian, which means that talk really fast.  The cathedral in Malaga has two towers but one in unfinished.  They stopped bulding it in 1782 – so they are almost as slow as Ken in bulding.  The story is that the sent the money that was for the second tower to General Lafayette to help with the American Revolution.  Who knows.  This Cathedral is located on a site that formerly held a Roman Temple and then a Mosque, so it is a holy place.  It took 3 centuries to build. 

 Malaguenans are also called Boccarones, which means anchovies.  One of their most famous foods here is the Iberico or Black Ham.  It is made only from black Iberico pigs who eat only acorns.  It is hugely expensive.  I believe they had it at the Butcher and Boar when we ate there, very pricey.  The city is a city of balconies.  They are beautiful.  The entire old town is pedestrianized and on Sundays families just go out and walk the old town city streets.  You will also note that Malaga also has a Roman Theater.  I am beginning to wonder if there will be Roman theaters in Brazil.  

So about Picasso.  Picasso was born in Malaga but only lived here 10 years.  His father was a museum curator and an artist.  He was offered a professorship teaching in another part of Spain, so off the family went.  Picasso returned to Malaga once in 1900 and never returned again, due to the Spanish civil war.  He was a communist and General Franco was certainly not.  Franco did not die until tow years after Picasso died.  The first time the people of Malaga saw Picasso’s paintings was in 1992 as they were previously considered immoral (I am not sure by who).  The museum we visited was organized by Picasso’s daughter in law.  The bulding was supplied by the city and is beautiful. It house a small collection of Picasso’s work but it is special as it was donated form the family’s collection.  Since October 27, 2013 it also has 11 “invited" works by artists who inspired Picasso or who knew him.  It was very interesting to tour the museum and compare those works with Picasso’s.  We had an excellent guide who really made is stop and think about the art.  She was very knowlegable.  She told us that Picasso never explained his art.  The only painting he ever explained was Guernica, which is really the only way Andrea knows anything about the Spanish Civil war, pretty powerful.  He always said that his work was over and now the viewer’s work began.  We were not allowed to take pictures of the art.  Andrea was going to insert some of her art inspired by Picasso, but Ken wisely stopped her.  She does however, say the same thing about her blog that Picasso did about his art.  She has now finished her work and it is now the reader’s work to decipher the typos.  She does not explain them.

We then went on to Picasso’s birthplace, which was in a lovely building on a square.  This blog is short today, but Malaga was impressive and we will be back.  It’s lucky there are two Marriott timeshares close by.
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