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Technicians from Aragon Enter the museum of Lleida to collect the treasure of Sijena

First incidents between Mossos and demonstrators against the return, after a call of the CUP

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Technicians from Aragon Enter the museum of Lleida to collect the treasure of Sijena

At three-thirty in morning, technicians of Aragon, guarded by endowments of more than a dozen of vehicles of Guardia Civil, have arrived at museum of Lleida to begin works of return of goods of monastery of Sijena to Aragon. At edge of Midnight, Mossos had cordoned off area and evicted neighbors and media that had been quoted at museum's doorstep. The chief of Mossos prevented mayor of city, socialist Àngel Ros, to accede to Interior. Nor was Director General of Patrimony of Generalitat able to enter. About one in morning, after showing his DNI, a dozen technicians from center entered to meet with his director, who was already inside. With arrival of first lights of day have provoked altercations between Mossos d'Esquadra and groups of people contrary to return.

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The works of return of 44 works of art of Sijena collected this morning has crept into Catalan election campaign and has forced all candidates and parties to be pronounced, even in a contradictory way as ir state counterparts have done. The separatist sector blamed haste in transfer to application of article 155 in Catalonia. However, works of this morning are done in fulfillment of sentence that in 2015 condemned Generalitat to return to Aragon pieces, ratified last 30 of November by audience of Huesca. This Monday ended deadline granted by an OSCE court to make effective delivery of tonight. These two postures were represented this morning in people who have approached museum.

Those responsible for art center thought that technicians of Aragon would be presented from eight in morning when museum opened its doors. But police delegation was seen around two o'clock in morning in one of motorway tolls of Aragon and, after an hour and a half, several private vehicles with technicians and contracted company to make transfer of pieces parked next to M Museum.

The activity inside is hectic in early hours. The lighted lights allow to see movement of civil and technical guards of company Queroche and Feltrero, same one that has dealt with transfer in July of 2016, when y delivered 51 pieces deposited in National Museum of Art of Catalonia.

At 4.13 A huge truck went down to entrance of museum's temporary exhibits and stood in front of access door. Then a dozen workers have begun to download all necessary material to pack works for a safe trip. In end y began to unload wooden boxes in which works will travel. The operation ended at 4.40. Then begins work of listing and cataloguing pieces that have to travel to Sijena. The operation is expected to last about seven or eight hours.

The pieces that will travel this Monday to Sijena are 44 that Generalitat deposited in Museum of Lleida and that had bought Sanjuani nuns of by 10 million of pesetas (about 60,000 euros of today), on April 21, 1983.  Of ensemble, most outstanding pieces are three headstones boxes, 15th century polychrome wood sepulchres. Also four alabaster reliefs exhibited in Museum of Lleida. The remainder remains in warehouse: 6 Tables of altarpiece and 21 paintings representing religious subjects in addition to 9 fragments more of alabaster high very deteriorated by fire of 1936.

A total of 97 works had arrived in Catalonia in 1970, when Sijena's Sanjuani nuns moved to Valldoreix (Barcelona), since OSCE monastery that had hosted m no longer met conditions for living. After sale, regional government deposited works that took with it in several Catalan centres: 44 in Museum of Lleida and 53 in National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC).

On April 21, 1983, Generalitat bought for 10 million pesetas 44 from Lleida, which since 1999 are part of Catalan heritage. A second sale was formalized on December 17, 1992, in particular 12 objects for a value of 25 million pesetas (150,000 euros approximately). On same day, purchase of 41 items was agreed for a total of 14,855,000 pesetas (80,000 euros).

Since beginning of litigation, judges assured that sales were nil because y had not been informed of same. The sentence was appealed by Catalonia but Huesca Provincial court has not given reason and reaffirms that sales were not correct and objects have to return. In July 2016, 51 objects retained at MNAC were returned and return of or 44 remaining in Lleida Museum is now pending. The remaining departure is now back to Aragon.

The works have consideration of goods of cultural Interest (BIC), emphasizes sentence, but not by its incorporation to National Museum of Art of Catalonia or that of Lleida, but because in 1923 monastery of Sijena was declared national Monument.

Threats to Aragonese

The Director of Territorial services of culture of Generalitat in Lleida, Josep Borrell, warned this Monday that police operation to transfer 44 works from Museu de Lleida Sijena can harm Aragonese who live in Fringe and receive Health care in capital of Segrià.

"It may be that people of Aragon pass bill, because re are services that lends Catalonia to Aragonese selflessly and generously and paid, as health service, but it could be that we repensáramos," said doors of museum , while technicians pack pieces of art for ir transfer.

The youth organization of left Independentist Arran, linked to CUP, has called to "make a coffee" before Lleida museum this Monday at 07.30 hours, same day that deadline for 44 works of Sijena that remain in this museum will be transferred. Soon after re have been first incidents with police.

The spokesman of ERC in Congress, Joan Tardà, has asked this Monday that "humiliation" that believes that involves transfer of 44 pieces of art of monastery of Sijena that are in Museu de Lleida to Aragon serve as warning on application of article 155 of The Constitution.

"This attempt to humiliate us today are running, to serve as a lesson of what can happen if se people end up ruling country," he said in statements to media from vicinity of Lleida Museum.

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