Top 5: Malaga Museums

Cubo Panorama
Pablo Picasso’s hometown, Malaga, is in the artistic limelight this year, says Sonia Soltani

Centre Pompidou Malaga
This pop-up offshoot of the famous Parisian contemporary art museum launched on 28 March in a regenerated neighbourhood of the city. The collection is housed in El Cubo, a converted space on the Spanish port city’s waterfront, which has undergone a €6.7m (£4.8m) revamp. Around 100 art works from the 20th and 21st centuries are displayed throughout the 2,000sq metre museum, which is set to stay for the next five years. During the opening weekend over 2,000 people visited the permanent collection, which focuses on Picasso’s influence on modern art and features artists such as Magritte, Calder, Giacometti, and Bruce Nauman.

State Russian Museum (Museo Russo)
Outstanding artworks from the 15th to the 20th century have left the cold of St Petersburg’s State Russian Museum for La Tabacalera in the more clement Costa del Sol. This former 1920s tobacco factory is the setting for loans from the Russian collection following a €580,000 (£420,000) refurbishment. Opened on 25 March with a temporary exhibition on Sergei Diaghilev, Ballets Russes and the avant-garde movement, the 2,300sq metre museum also hosts works by Kandinsky, Chagall, and Malevich, among other Russian luminaries, for the coming year.

Centre for Contemporary Art in Malaga (CAC Malaga)
For the past decade, a meticulously curated collection at the CAC Malaga has showcased some of the 20th-century European art scene’s biggest stars. Expect the likes of Damian Hirst, Julian Opie and Olafur Eliasson, and a particular focus on Spanish artists from the 1980s to the present day. The gallery is currently showing for the first time in Spain an exhibition entirely dedicated to Yan Pei-Ming, the first artist of Chinese origin to display his work at the Louvre (until 14 June 2015).

Museo Picasso Malaga
The most-visited museum in Andalusia after the charismatic Alhambra complex, the Casa Natal is Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, and alongside museums dedicated to the Spaniard in Barcelona and Paris, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in his universe. This year’s temporary exhibitions include a summer retrospective celebrating the career of Louise Bourgeois and, in the autumn, an exhibition looking at how Picasso influenced German artists.

Carmen Thyssen Museum
Housed in the exquisitely renovated Renaissance-style Palacio de Villalon since spring 2011, Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza’s art collection is one of the key cultural attractions in town. With over 230 Spanish artists’ creations, with a distinct focus on the 19th century and Andalusian art, the museum displays works ranging from medieval religious art to early 20th century’s most innovative paintings. Temporary exhibitions allow visitors to discover some of the collection from the Madrid-based Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza too.

And later this year…
Malaga’s most ambitious architectural and cultural project, the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology, is set to open later this year. The elegant Palacio de la Aduana is currently being converted to create a display surface of over 17,000sq metres for the remarkable joint collections of archaeological artifacts and classical art works.