Thursday, 06 February 2020 19:15

February 6, 2020 | The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) and The Government Of Spain fail to reach agreement for the creation of the Contemporary Art Collection of the Americas










The Government of Spain does not come to an agreement with the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in the context of the negotiations for the creation of the Contemporary Art Collection of the Americas that the Tabacalera complex in Madrid would receive.



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Photo: Ella Fontanals-Cisneros. 

Credits EFE /Emilio Naranjo 




Madrid, Spain (February 6, 2020) - The Government of Spain and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) have not reached an agreement in the context of the creation of an exhibition space located in the Tabacalera in Madrid, Spain.


On February 21, 2018, Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and the then Minister of Culture, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of an exhibition space that would be hosted at the Tabacalera complex in the city of Madrid. In this way, part of the Collection, which is one of the most important in the world, would give rise to the new Collection of Contemporary Art of the Americas. The planned donation included more than 400 art pieces by leading international artists, in addition to a long-term loan of around 600 more pieces.


Last October 2019, Fontanals-Cisneros received a letter from the Minister of Culture, José Guirao, in which he communicated that it was not possible to comply with the signed agreement, under the previously agreed terms.


Thus, more than 9 years of negotiations between Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and the Government of Spain came to an end. “It is a great disappointment because we have dedicated time, effort and resources to turn the Contemporary Art Collection of the Americas into reality. We have always been available and open to all kinds of requests that have been made to us by the different agencies and it is very disappointing that, in the end, they did not want to comply with the agreement," says Ella Fontanals-Cisneros. “Despite this setback, I am still convinced that Spain and, particularly Madrid, is the ideal place to host part of my personal collection. Therefore, our intention is to explore new ways to obtain private funds in order to analyze different options and possible partnerships.” she added.



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About Ella Fontanals-Cisneros

The Founder of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Ella Fontanals-Cisneros is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and businesswoman in new technologies and other industries, and a collector of contemporary art. She began collecting art in the 1970s and her collection has an international profile, encompassing emblematic figures of modern and contemporary art, with a focus on Latin American art. Fontanals-Cisneros is a former or current board member of a wide range of arts and educational institutions, including the Tate Americas Foundation; United Artists; the Cintas Foundation; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; the New Museum; the Fulbright Program; and Princeton University’s Program in Latin American Studies.


About The Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection (EFC)

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros began collecting art in the early 1970s, with a primary interest in work from Latin America. As the collection has grown and developed, its scope has expanded. What began as the acquisition of works of art for personal enjoyment has matured into an ambitious life project. In a way, there are several collections within the collection. Four main areas of interest have been systematically increasing in recent years: geometric abstraction from Latin America; contemporary international and Latin American art; contemporary video; and modern and contemporary photography.


About The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO)

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros established the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) in 2002. The Foundation’s mission is to support and foster cultural understanding and educational dialog among Latin American artists and global audiences. CIFO serves as a platform for emerging, mid-career and established Latin American artists through the Grants & Commissions Program, the CIFO Collection, and other related art and cultural projects in the United States of America and internationally. More information is available at

For more information about CIFO exhibitions and other programs, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.





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