New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has reopened its European paintings galleries after a two-year renovation, giving a privileged space to Spanish masters Velazquez, El Greco and Goya.

Prior to the overhaul, the Met's large collection of works by Velazquez, Goya, Ribera, Murillo and El Greco had been distributed in different galleries organized either by artistic movement or thematically.

But as of Thursday, this museum now has a dedicated space for Spanish art.

"Finally we can tell the story of Spanish art from El Greco to Goya, in three consecutive halls that are organized chronologically. It's an exciting moment for us," the Met's curator in the Department of European Paintings, Xavier F. Salomon, told Efe.

The attention garnered by Goya at the Met is such that Salomon plans to travel next week to Spain in a bid to obtain more paintings for a possible exhibit centered on the portraits the artist made of the Altamira family.

"It's been two years of closing rooms, but it's been worth it," Salomon added. "The result is wonderful. The visitor can see the paintings like never before, in a totally different way." EFE