The El Greco painting "St. John the Evangelist" was presented Monday at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires as part of a collaboration with Spain's Prado.
"We've been working for three years on this project, which today we have the pleasure of launching with the presentation of this painting," the director of the Argentine museum, Guillermo Alonso, told Efe after the presentation, at which the Spanish ambassador to Argentina, Roman Oyarzun, and Prado restorer Rafael Alonso were also present.
Oyarzun expressed his gratitude during the ceremony both to Alonso and to Prado Museum director Miguel Zugaza for the agreement.
"I would like to stress the importance of the accord between the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Prado Museum, which will allow the Argentine public to enjoy this Spanish work, and will also permit the sending of important Argentine artworks to Spain," the ambassador said.
This 1605 oil by Greek-born Spanish artist Domenikos Theotokopoulos portrays St. John the Evangelist with a chalice in his right right hand, upon which a serpent is seen.
The restorer Alonso believes that this was a single painting not associated with the series of portraits of the 12 apostles that El Greco painted later.
"St. John the Evangelist" will remain for at least three months in Buenos Aires as part of the agreement, with other works from the Prado to follow.
"The accord is not limited to works of art - what we're doing is a project in which restorers, technicians and curators of both institutions will travel between the two museums," Alonso said.