Recovered more than 470 works of art in dispute by the Muñoz Ramonet legacy

The works have been requisitioned in an operation of the Historical Heritage Section of the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard and mostly coincide with the list of works claimed

Among the works it has been possible to identify pieces belonging to the Bosch i Catarineu collection, of which several by Marià Fortuny and Eugenio Lucas stand out, Gothic panels from the 15th and 16th, foreign 19th century painting such as Wintehalter or Morgan, painting from the Spanish school of the 17th and 18th centuries and Catalan painting of the 19th and 20th centuries

Agents from the Historical Heritage Section of the Civil Guard's Central Operative Unit (UCO) seized 474 works of art and documentation last March, in a coordinated action directed by the 29th court of Barcelona, ​​which is investigating the case criminal filed in 2014 by the Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation against the businessman's daughters. Although the expert work has not yet been completed, it has already been possible to verify, in a first inventory, that a good part of the recovered works coincide with the list of works of art claimed by the Muñoz Ramonet Foundation and that they are part of the prestigious Bosch i Catarineu art collection.

The set of paintings and drawings is the most numerous and brings together works made in various techniques, supports, periods and schools. In number there are compartments of altarpieces from the 14th-16th centuries: 17, painting from the 16th to the 18th centuries: 53, 19th century painting: 93, 20th century painting: 213.
A series of works that help to better understand the patrimonial value of the confiscation carried out deserves to be highlighted.
In July 2019, the judicial authority instructed the UCO to investigate these works. Last February the police operation culminated with the seizure of a first package of works of art. In a second operation, carried out in March, searches were carried out in private homes and in various social headquarters of the defendants, where another set of works were requisitioned, in addition to locating inventories, economic insurance of the works and different documents of interest for research.
The Court of First Instance No. 1 of Barcelona, ​​which is executing its sentence handed down in 2007 after the Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation filed a lawsuit in 1999, and having exhausted all possible remedies, has urged the Court of Instruction No. 29 of Barcelona to send you the detail of all the works located and judicially requisitioned, since they could coincide with those that are the subject of civil enforcement and, where appropriate, should be delivered to the Foundation in compliance with the judgment.
Despite the prudence that the entire ongoing judicial procedure still imposes, the intervention of the works represents a very important step in complying with the judicial decisions favorable to the Foundation, and ultimately, in the realization of Julio's testamentary will. Muñoz Ramonet and the possibility of collective enjoyment of this important art collection. However, it is a first step, since there is still a wide series of works to locate, paradoxically the most valuable and important among those claimed. This absence is made up of around 50 paintings and drawings, 7 sculptures, 173 miniatures and 13 ivories. In general, the Gothic panels, examples of Renaissance and Baroque painting, painting from the 18th century, drawings by Fortuny and the oils by Hermen Anglada Camarasa referenced in the ANNEX stand out.

25 years of legal proceedings

The Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation has been working since 1995 to fulfill the wishes expressed in the employer's will. The Barcelona City Council learned, four years after his death, that he was the beneficiary of part of his inheritance. Both the daughters and the executors of the will concealed this fact from the City Council, trusting that the passage of time would make the rights it had irrevocable.
At the origin of the Julio Muñoz Ramonet collection is the prestigious collection of Romul Bosch i Catarineu, acquired by forming part of the patrimony of the UIASA consortium of companies, and of which in 1950 it became the owner. To this initial collection he incorporated the works that he acquired over time and formed what is currently known as the "Muñoz Ramonet Collection", of great artistic and cultural value with numerous paintings by renowned authors as well as Gothic altarpieces.
In the twilight of his life, Julio Muñoz Ramonet began to develop the idea of ​​returning to the city of Barcelona the cultural wealth that it had allowed him to acquire, creating a foundation that should bear his name and that would have the objective of treating the way to leave your collection in the city. This idea was projected in his last testament, through which he named his four daughters as universal heirs to his vast heritage and established different legacies, among which is the one that specified his will to give a public dimension to the art collection that he had. made by bequeathing it to the city through the two houses that contained it, located at Muntaner 282-288 and Porvenir 26-28 streets.
The continued obstruction by the daughters of the businessman so that the last wishes of their father were carried out forced the Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation to file different civil lawsuits that on April 10, 2013 culminated in the delivery of keys to the properties.

Misappropriation of the legacy and criminal procedure

The civil questions about the ownership of the legacy have now been resolved as of the Supreme Court ruling issued in 2012, the Court of First Instance no. 1 of Barcelona required the defendants to also return the content contained in the properties. Already at the first takeover of the buildings, in July 2013, it was found that the most characteristic and important works of art in the collection were not found in the buildings located on Muntaner and Porvenir streets. Likewise, the defendants made the properties disappear, both the works of art and the inventories of the Muñoz Ramonet Collection. This concealment forces the Julio Muñoz Ramonet Foundation to file a complaint in 2014 in the Court of Instruction number 29 of Barcelona, ​​which has been investigating the case since then.

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