This pano shows the chamber that hosted the temporary return of “The Lady of Elche” back home to Elche after 41 years in which this piece has been displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. This has definitively be the event of the year 2006 in Elche an event that has been surrounded by all sorts of celebrations (see for example WWP-Gardens by Sonia Zamora-Amoros).
The Lady of Elche, IV b.C., is considered to be the most important piece of Iberian art found so far. It was discovered in 1897 in La Alcudia, Elche, and has made the city world widely recognised.
The bust was sold to The Louvre Museum days after its discovery and was shown there, at a privileged location, for about 40 years. El Prado Museum (Madrid) got it back in 1941 (WWII) with some other pieces as an exchange for Velazquez, Creco, Goya and Nicolas Houel paints. It was then displayed at El Prado until 1967 when it was moved to the National Archaeological Museum (also in Madrid) where it currently remains.
The statue has only been loaned twice during all these years, both times back home to Elche. The first time in 1965, and again in 2006 from May the 18th to November the 1st, to commemorate the reopening of the newly improved Municipal Archaeological Museum. This event has been nationally broadcasted on all medias and the chamber has been visited by almost 400.000 people, including the Royal Family and the President of Spain.
The chamber to host the bust, depicted in this pano, was carefully chosen for this purpose and was prepared to follow strict lighting, temperature, humidity, vibration and security measures. The room is located at the base of The Altamira Palace Tower of Homage from which is worth mentioning the Mudejar vault from the XII century. See World Heritage, Bridges and Borders WWPs for some exterior views and info about the Palace.
This pano is actually the only opportunity left, for all those who missed it, to visit The Lady at home.
Special thanks to Don Rafael Ramos Fernandez, director of the Municipal Archaeological Museum, for showing me the quietest time to enter the chamber.
"La Dama de Elche", Rafael Ramos Fernandez, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes.
Canon 10D - sigma 8 mm - f.11 at 0.7, iso 100, raw
manfrotto tripod and vr head