Work by artists as diverse as Pablo Picasso, Ai Weiwei and the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe will be brought together under one roof this week in what curators say is the world’s only museum devoted to art that has been censored.

The Museu de l’Art Prohibit (Museum of Forbidden Art) in Barcelona consists of about 200 works that have been denounced, attacked or removed from exhibition.

Tatxo Benet, a journalist and businessman, began the collection five years ago and is financing the museum, which opens on Thursday, out of his own pocket.

“This is the only museum in the world dedicated to art that has been censored,” he said. While artistic and aesthetic merit had played a part in the selection, the main factor for inclusion had been censorship, he added.

“There are works that perhaps don’t have great artistic merit but their story merits them a place in the museum. That’s what these works have in common and it shows that censorship has failed, because here you can see them. It’s a triumph of freedom of expression.”

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