The Papers Graves

The Papers Graves

The Papers Graves
The tomb of Abbot Maur Esteva, at the monastery of Poblet. / JOSÉ LUIS SELLART
GARBAGENEWS. The claim of the documents seized in Catalonia at the end of the Civil War by Franco's army that were deposited in Salamanca, remains open and generating controversy in Catalonia and Castile and Leon each time you talk about it, even though it has been more of 75. Other claims have gone unnoticed and have even remained secret until now. This is the case of Catalan monastic important documentation remains, especially in the National Archives in Madrid since the nineteenth century, after the famous confiscation of Mendizabal, 1834 that ended the church property in Spain. Documents that the Government tried to recover in the mid eighties of the last century by Don Juan de Borbon, Count of Barcelona; a story that had a very prominent Max Cahner, then Minister of Culture and Maur Esteva, Abbot of Poblet between 1970 and 1998 paper.

To facilitate the operation a success the Department of Culture and the Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet signed on May 29, 1984 an agreement whereby the Catalan monastic Arxiu scattered documentation was created with the intention of gathering in Poblet This monastery and others like Vallbona de les Monges or Scala Dei. The agreement was published in the Official Gazette of the Generalitat (DOG) on June 29 of that year. Don Juan de Borbon had failed to reign, as the line to the throne when he jumped Franco noticed the young Juan Carlos for it to be the future king. Therefore, he had no place to bury assigned as the royal pantheon of the Monastery of the Escorial was reserved only to those who have stuck the crown.

In 1983 he expressed his desire to be buried in the monastery of Poblet, royal pantheon of the Crown of Aragon until the fifteenth century, to assert his title of Count of Barcelona. But he had to have permission from the community of Cistercian monks. And he did, so he had built two graves, one for himself and one for his wife, Dona Maria de las Mercedes, in the chapel of Sant Benet, at the foot of the altar of the saint. On several occasions I was visiting, along with Esteva, which certainly thought would be his final resting place in Catalonia. But the permission of the community had a consideration: Don Juan had to intercede with her son to make it got the Ministry of Culture transferred the records deposited in the National Historical Archive of Tarragona Catalan monasteries. "It was a secret pact between the abbot and the Count of Barcelona. When you hear the Generalitat created the file for easy operation," says Josep Maria Sans i Travé, former director of the ANC that has been linked to files Generalitat over 35 years. "There was a time when it was thought that the Ministry of Culture would return, so the monastic file was created, but then things did not go well," he says.

The DOG picked the need to "create a file to collect and store in one place and in proper condition the important monastic Catalan documentary heritage, inventoried and disseminate the contents making it available to researchers and scholars." The agreement ensured that meet the file "original and repro" and destined Palau Abat Nou for the new file, so the Government took care of its restoration and pay operating costs while monks would manage its openness to public. The agreement was valid for 30 years, renewable. "The deal did not explain the ultimate intentions, because it was super-secret" Sans rivets.

The renovation of the building began several years later. In 1989 it was announced that that year would take place the first phase to consolidate the dilapidated building, while Joan Guitart, the director at the time, was still unclear what would be the funds could check after commissioning. Asked about the issue this week the exconsejero claims not to remember anything of the monastic Arxiu. In early 1993 the abbot Esteva insisted later that year would finish the restoration work to house the Catalan Monastic Archives. But when in April of that year died Don Juan de Borbon and his son King Juan Carlos I decided to bury him in El Escorial, "for family reasons, because they are there buried his father, King Alfonso XIII, and his mother, Queen Victoria Eugenia; for services that Don Juan has given to Spain, and its dynastic position, "a decision that was announced as Don Juan dying in Navarra, the idea of ​​being able to get the documentation back took a hit. But the works in the Palau Nou Abat continued and in April 1994, after his inauguration, he moved to the second floor the file Tarradellas since 1981 occupied the towers of the Arms and Sant Esteva.

At this point the abbot Esteva still believed in the necessity of the monastic file and announced that the few documents that were kept on the monastery in Poblet occupy the first floor, remembering that the most important part of the background, some 13,000 scrolls, remained in Madrid.En September 1996, during a visit by then Prince Philip Poblet, the news story gathered in the chapel of Sant Benet the current king had seen the two graves that had been prepared to welcome their grandparents. Tombs that remained empty until recently. Last November, the exabad Maur Esteva died at age 81. This monk, a personal friend of Josep Tarradellas, former president of the Generalitat that helped restore the monastery and ended up giving his personal archive to Poblet; the monk who got this magnificent Gothic building was declared a World Heritage Site in 1991, he was buried with full honors in the grave 30 years Don Juan thought that would be his.
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