ONE of the great figures of Spain’s New Photography Avant-Garde has donated his life’s work to the national art museum of Cataluna (MNAC).

Joan Colom, well-known for his images of prostitution and of Barcelona’s notorious Barrio Chino, handed over his collection of nearly 9,500 photographs, negatives, a 25-minute film and a great many documents.

“This is a historical moment; events of this nature are few and far between,” said Miquel Roca, chairman of MNAC’s board of trustees, as he thanked a visibly moved Colom for his generosity, ‘which is completely unselfish and without strings attached’.

In return for his generosity the Catalan culture department is now negotiating a life pension for the 90-year-old and his family.

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