Hola from Barcelona.
I arrived here Sunday morning, expecting the worst in traffic due to Pope Benedict’s visit, but was pleasantly surprised, able to quickly arrive go from the airport to my hotel near the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, the location for this week’s IBM Industry Summit here.
Though I didn’t have the opportunity to witness the Pope in person, Spanish TV carried extensive coverage of his consecration of Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, and I certainly was able to see the aftermath near the Museu Picasso later in the day as traffic was blocked to ensure the Pope’s motorcade had the run of the city.
There was a lot going a lot going on this weekend in Spain.
Elsewhere, in Madrid, “Desperate Housewive’s” (and Corpus Christi, Texan) Eva Longoria hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards, where noshow Lady Gaga (she was performing elsewhere, in Budapest) took the top honors for Best Pop, Best Female, and Best Song (for “Bad Romance”).
Speaking of bad romance, if you’re a Dallas Cowboys football fan, the romance between fans and team this season is definitely over (while I was sleeping, they lost to Green Bay 45-7).
I had already mentioned that, fair weather fan that I am, I was in the market for a new football team. If it weren’t for alienating mi amigos in Madrid, I might say I’d found one in La Liga, the Spanish soccer league, where Barca beat Getafe 3-1 last night.
Instead of taking sides and possibly instigating an intra-IBM futbol conflagration, however, let me be the eternal diplomat I am and let me just say I love ALL European football — if for no other reason than the fact that none of it involves the Dallas Cowboys.
Like football teams everywhere, just about all great artists have their blue periods, and it was Pablo Picasso who defined them.
This is my second time in Barcelona, but somehow I missed the Picasso museum my first time here.
I won’t make mistake again. Though I’m no Picasso scholar, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop venue to learn more about the artist and his evolution, this is the place.
I visit museums whenever and wherever I can in my travels, and Museu Picasso was up there on the list.
In fact, Picasso’s Velazquez-inspired “Las Meninas” alone was worth the price of admission — in my case, free (but only on the first Sunday of the month after 3 PM!) — as the video presentation outside the exhibit demonstrated how Picasso was both paying homage to Velazquez, but through his Cubist tendencies, completely re-envisioning the great work.
Finally, and before I segueway in immediate and future postings back to the business at hand, the IBM Industry Summit here, I’ll leave you with this factoid: Did you know that Picasso is the most stolen artist in the world?
At last count, the Art Loss Register had 550 of Picasso’s works listed as missing.
Most recently, Picasso’s “Dove With Green Peas” was stolen, along with pieces from several other famous artists, in a brash burglary at the Paris Museum of Modern Art this past May.
For the record, I was nowhere in the vicinity!