Vic’s Episcopal Museum focuses on medieval figure of bishop Oliba

Vic’s Episcopal Museum yesterday opened ’Oliba episcopus’, the most important exhibition that has ever been dedicated to one of the most significant figures of the Catalan Middle Ages. The exhibition, which runs until February 10, presents the figure of the man who was the bishop of Osona and the abbot of Ripoll and Cuixà, bringing together documentary evidence from the time borrowed from art collections from all over Europe. Among the most significant works on display are the so-called Ripoll bibles, promoted by Oliba, which provide unique examples of Catalan and European art a thousand years ago. Curator Marc Sureda points out their value as a “library of images of the time,” adding: “They show what has been lost today.”

The exhibition aims to update the view of the bishop by focusing on his role in the artistic creation of the time, as well as his political and social roles that have made one of the most important figures of Catalan history. In Friday’s presentation, the museum’s head, Josep Maria Riba, said organising the exhibition had been “a real challenge”. Riba insisted on the need to review the bishop “without falling into the trap of repeating what has already been said about him.” Riba also said the exhibition “opens the door” to furthering research on the medieval figure.

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