El Secuestro del Louvre

EVE Museografía.* 

louvre_0_0En puertas de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, todo eran carreras por las galerías del museo del Louvre (lobera, lugar de los lobos en francés). Ante la idea de que en el peor de los casos los nazis tomaran París, se sabía que una de las cosas que ocurriría con toda seguridad es que harían una visita al Louvre con el carrito de la compra y sin intención de pagar nada. La histeria y las prisas se adueñaron de la situación y todo el mundo se puso manos a la obra para salvar lo posible de la casi segura rapiña y el maltrato. Los conservadores del museo, una vez desarmados y quitados los marcos a los lienzos, envolvían las pinturas en capas de papel, no importando el tamaño del cuadro. La Gioconda, la pintura más valiosa del mundo, fue descolgada el 28 de agosto de 1939 y envuelta en un papel especial resistente al agua. Fue la obra más viajera del Louvre, ya que se traslado hasta cinco veces a diferentes custodios, en la campiña francesa, antes de volver sana y salva al museo de arte más famoso del mundo. Otros muchos cuadros se guardaron en los sótanos del museo. Nosotros siempre hemos pensado que es un verdadero milagro que los alemanes no dieran con ella. Increíble también que, después de dos grandes confrontaciones devastadoras, se salvasen de la desaparición. Salvo todo lo que los nazis quemaron por ser “arte pervertido”, las grandes obras maestras de la humanidad sobrevivieron al desastre. Pero volvamos al Louvre para seguir contando la historia de la desbandada de obras.

Fue como una gran desbandada en un caos de movimiento. Los marcos de las pinturas se amontonaban apoyados en las paredes y tirados en el suelo del museo.

La Mona Lisa, no fue la única que viajó en camión por Francia para ser salvada del robo nazi o de la destrucción. Las esculturas más importantes se embalaron en cajas de madera y fueron cargadas rápidamente en camiones que se distribuyeron por todo el país. Lo urgentísimo era que las obras estuvieran lo más lejos posible de París y de los lugares donde se preveía que iban a caer las bombas nazis y de las zonas estratégicas donde la guerra sería cruenta, costas incluidas. Las obras maestras griegas del Louvre, como era la Victoria alada de Samotracia, fue rodeada con una maraña de cuerdas y colgando de una polea de gran tamaño se desplazó hasta un camión. Una obra de verdadera ingeniería de madera es necesaria para poder desplazar las esculturas más pesadas. Así se hizo todo el trabajo. Las esculturas que pudieron ser transportadas se rodeaban de sacos de arena.

La casi completa colección de pinturas del museo fue evacuada de París. Como decíamos, con las esculturas hubo más dificultades de traslado y escondite por su tamaño y condición. Lo curioso del caso es que nada se puedo mantener alejado del conocimiento de los nazis sobre los diferentes lugares donde las obras de arte estaban siendo almacenadas. La mayor parte de ellas se trasladó a castillos, cuyos propietarios se ofrecieron para proteger las piezas como una forma de prevenir que fuesen requisadas por los nazis. Gracias a todo este esfuerzo colectivo, la situación en París fue muy diferente al de otras capitales europeas ocupadas por los alemanes, como fueron Varsovia o Praga, que vieron los tesoros de sus museos saqueados por los salvajes. Todas las medidas de seguridad serían insuficientes si los alemanes comenzaban a requisar el patrimonio artístico nacional. En general las obras permanecieron selladas en sus cajas, pero La Mona Lisa siempre estuvo colgada en las paredes de dormitorios donde alguien dormía para que nunca estuviera desprotegida – nada era suficiente para que la hermosa dama volviera sana y salva-.

Una gran parte de la obra restante que no se pudo transportar, la que se consideraba que no iba a interesar a los nazis, se almacenó en los sótanos del museo durante la guerra. El resultado de todo este ingente esfuerzo francés fue que no había ni un solo cuadro colgado de las paredes de la Gran Galería cuando finalmente los nazis tomaron París. El museo era una enorme galería fantasma con alguna escultura pero sin pinturas. Como se presumía, una de las primeras visitas que hicieron los salvajes fue al Louvre y eso fue lo que se encontraron: nada. Hitler tenía muchísimo interés en apropiarse de todo aquello que consideraba de valor para el museo de arte que pretendía construir: el Linz Museum y envió la rapiña. En el lugar donde se exhibía la Venus de Milo solo quedaba la luz y el polvo. Aun y todo, el museo permaneció abierto a lo largo de la guerra, aunque solo se podía observar una mínima fracción de la colección de esculturas. Los alemanes entraban gratis pero los franceses que visitaban el museo estaban obligados a pagar una entrada.

Para los alemanes, los sótanos del Louvre también sirvieron como almacén de obras de arte robadas a coleccionistas judíos. Algunas de las pinturas robadas de los sótanos del museo – juzgadas por un grupo de expertos nombrados por los nazis – determinaban su valor artístico o comercial. Los que no pasaban el corte, fueron triturados y quemados en los vecinos jardines de las Tullerías en 1943, de acuerdo con el catálogo de la exposición de aquel año. Después de la guerra, muchas de las piezas robadas fueron restauradas a sus legítimos propietarios o a sus familias – un milagro que algunas de las obras almacenadas en los sótanos se salvaran -. El gobierno francés custodió las obras que no fueron reclamadas por sus propietarios, guardándose en el museo en espera de su regreso. Algunas todavía siguen allí esperando a un dueño que posiblemente nunca llegará.

Después de la guerra, un nuevo Louvre, transformado y renovado después de importantes obras de rehabilitación, se abrió gradualmente al público entre 1945 y 1947. Gracias a las habilidades y la tenacidad de los responsables de salvaguardar los bienes culturales, todas las principales obras maestras del museo regresaron al palacio, prácticamente indemnes, con la Mona Lisa de nuevo al frente.

*ESPACIO VISUAL EUROPA (EVE) se dedica al diseño y construcción de experiencias museográficas memorables desde 1986, con el uso de medios innovadores que combinan creatividad y planificación.

 

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