Thyssen art collection set to stay in Madrid

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The Independent Online

The funeral took place yesterday of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, whose fabulous art collection is rivalled only by that of the Queen.

The baron died on Saturday of a heart attack, aged 81. His finest treasures came to Madrid in 1993 through the intervention of his fifth wife, Carmen "Tita" Cervera, a former Miss Spain. Madrid's museum bearing his name houses nearly 700 works.

His death may prompt renewed wrangling over industrial and art holdings; but Spanish experts who finessed the acquisition of the Thyssen Collection insisted yesterday that the works' permanence in Spain was "well tied up".

Last month, a daughter Francesca, joined Baroness Carmen on the Thyssen Foundation's board, which manages the collection. Francesca brought in Norman Rosenthal, director of the Royal Academy, who is married to Manuela Mena, curator at the Prado.

The funeral was held near Gerona in Catalonia, and the baron will be buried in his family mausoleum in Germany.