It’s business as usual—in a surreal way—for the Dalí Theatre-Museum and other leading cultural institutions in Catalonia. Many opened their doors yesterday for the first time since nationalist politicians voted to declare independence from Spain on Friday.

Thousands took to the streets of Barcelona over the weekend to show their support—or demonstrate against—the split with Spain as divisions deepen across the region. The ongoing constitutional crisis has deterred tourism, which was down an estimated 15% last month.

And as the Spanish government moves to impose temporary direct rule of Catalonia ahead of the regional elections on December 21, life could soon get more complicated for public-private institutions, such as the Dalí museum in Figueres in north-east Catalonia, the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, and the Museu Picasso de Barcelona.

In the early days of the Catalan crisis in 2014, Antoni Pitxot, the late former director of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, told Catalan News that the institution and its collection were “indivisible.” But that theory may now be put to the test. Dalí established the museum in his hometown of Figueres in the north-east of Catalonia in 1974—but left his art to the Spanish people when he died in 1989. While key works, such as The Great Masturbator (1929), went to Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía, more than 130 formed the basis of the collection in Figueres. Now, their future is uncertain. Read more