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200th anniversary of Prado foundation

Portrait by Goya on display in The National Gallery, London

Madrid's famous Museo Nacional del Prado is putting on an extensive programme of activities to mark its 200 years since the foundation began in 1819.

The museum states that it is 'offering a survey of its history that focuses on the dialogue between the Museum and society, heritage policies in Spain'.

It also wants to highlight the trends that have guided the growth of the museum's collection and its transformation into a place that has allowed Spanish and foreign writers, intellectuals and artists to reflect on the country's past and its collective identity.

Last January at RIBA in London we invited Charles Saumarez Smith, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, to speak at our conference on city sustainability through the growth of cultural districts.

The RA has recently invested in redeveloping an adjacent building - formerly used as The Museum of Mankind - to extend its gallery space and create an entrance from the Cork Street galleries side. Charles spoke about the problem of rents for galleries and the move to east London as a result.

For the RA it will be essential that not only do the commercial galleries prosper in Mayfair but also that Bond Street and Savile Row continue to thrive as home to luxury brands and to world famous tailoring.

Future Cites Forum will be looking at the sustainability of a very different kind of cultural quarter in the making - that of the Royal Arsenal Woolwich where Berkeley Homes, the London Borough of Greenwich and Crossrail have all invested heavily in time and capital. From this location we will be running our November forum.

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