A new museum claiming to be the world’s first dedicated to forbidden art has opened in Barcelona.
The Museo del Arte Prohibido houses more than 200 works censored or persecuted over the centuries.
Among the exhibits is a sculpture of Spanish dictator General Franco frozen in a soft drink fridge – a 2012 work by Eugenio Merino that led a group of the late autocrat’s supporters to attempt to sue for defamation.
The exhibition also includes a portrait of Chairman Mao by Andy Warhol, which was removed by Chinese authorities during an exhibition marking 25 years since the artist’s death in the country.
Other big names featured at the gallery include a work by Goya as well as pieces by Picasso, Miquel Barcelo and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Times reports.
The museum was opened by Catalan businessman Tatxo Benet, owner of the controversial art collection.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper ABC, he said: “What unifies the works is that they have been censored, they have been attacked or they have suffered some form of protest from groups pressure or individuals.
“Not understanding the reason that caused a censorious attitude will happen.
“It is for this reason that the contextualization is as important as the work, and it is for this reason that next to each of them, a curriculum vitae is included.”
One work that was removed from the museum was a piece including pixelated portraits of Catalan politicians imprisoned following a controversial 2017 independence referendum that was not recognized by the Spanish government.
Mr Benet, a supporter of Catalan independence, said the decision to remove it was taken just hours before the museum opened to the public.
He told the ABC: “It bothered me that it was said that I had bought this work because I was pro-independence (for Catalonia) and that I wanted to do this or that thing with it.
“No, when I buy a censored work, it has nothing to do with my ideology.”
The museum is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.