"--IANS/EFE"
Madrid, June 9 (IANS/EFE) The economic crisis in Spain has actually helped the country's main art museum in several aspects, its director said.

Miguel Zugaza, who has served 12 years at the helm of the Prado Museum, said in an interview with Efe that the flagship of Spanish culture has undertaken important projects such as its biggest expansion and the development of its own legislation - moves that allow one to say that, to a certain degree, the crisis has been good for the Prado.

There was an excess of activity stemming from the expansion. Everything we did made a lot of sense and had a reason, Zugaza said.

The crisis and the very sharp dropoff in public contributions have forced museum authorities to think about the essential, where the priorities are and what the central mission... is that the museum must work on regarding its collection, research, restoration and other issues, Zugaza said.

Planning has been key, especially during these lean years.

Thanks to that, we've already made all the necessary adjustments, including the exhibit programme, the museum director said.

And that has allowed the museum to weather the falloff in its income and the reduction in public contributions in 2013, an economic situation that the institution hoped would ameliorate itself starting in 2015, Zugaza said.

The contributions of donors, an important but complementary source of funds so far, has become a key element contributing almost a sixth of the museum's operating budget, the Prado Museum director said.

--IANS/EFE

ab/vt


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