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Tuesday, 4 December, 2001, 10:58 GMT
Spanish museum director quits
Skyline of Plaza de Espana and Gran Via, Madrid, Spain
The Prado in Madrid is one of the world's most prestigious museums
The director of one of the largest art galleries in the world has resigned over a management dispute that he claimed ended with him losing part of his office space.

Fernando Checa's resignation from The Prado Museum, Spain's most popular art museum, was tendered last week, but accepted by the Culture Ministry on Monday.

Mr Checa has run the Madrid-based Prado for almost six years, handling among other things, a fitful project to expand an overcrowded 19th Century building toured by two million people a year.

His resignation follows a long-running spat with the president of the museum's oversight board, Eduardo Serra.

Mr Checa accused Mr Serra of trying to assume his day-to-day responsibilities, such as meeting with curators and restoration experts.

The board president's job is to set over all long-term museum policy and approve decisions such as what paintings to buy, a museum official said.

Final straw

Mr Checa said the final straw came last week when he lost part of his office space in a remodelling ordered by Mr Serra.

"I think this symbolises a lot of what was going on," Mr Checa told a news conference, according to Europa Press.

Mr Checa will stay on until a replacement is named.

The Prado Museum houses works by masters including: Francisco de Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco.

One of its treasures is Las Meninas (The Ladies in Waiting) by Velazquez.

See also:

05 Apr 01 | Arts
Museum rejects Goya claims
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