Barcelona Provincial Council (owner of Palau Güell since 1945, when the Güell family transferred the property) ensures the conservation of the building and administers it as a museum facility.
Following a long and comprehensive restoration, thanks to which we can see the building today in all its original splendour, Palau Güell opened to the public in May 2011.
Palau Güell presents a renewed vision of its collections and its museographic discourse that is absolutely true to the original.
Undertaking the responsibility for transmitting the work of Gaudí, Palau Güell has promoted different ways of presenting and interpreting the building, along with a programme of activities and concerts and a series of accessibility proposals for a variety of publics.
Likewise, the museum continues to work, as a public entity, in its commitment to conserving its heritage, with the aim also to meet the main challenges of research and education.
The museum's mission is to guarantee the conservation of Palau Güell —declared UNESCO’s World Heritage Site—, its promotion, documentation and research and the provision of services linked to the museum.
Palau Güell director is in charge of defining and implementing the Management Plan, and coordinating cultural visits to the building and the dissemination actions to promote the Palau.
The Local Architectural Heritage Service (SPAL) has coordinated the various restoration campaigns carried out in the building and undertakes preventive conservation and maintenance.
Guillem Mundet Director
José Luis Sanz Botey Head of the Local Architectural Heritage Service
How the Palau came to belong to Barcelona Provincial Council: a chronology from 1945 to the present
In 1945, Mercè Güell i López, the youngest daughter of Eusebi Güell and Isabel López, offered Palau Güell to Barcelona Provincial Council in exchange for an annuity and on the condition that the building be preserved and used for cultural purposes.
Shortly afterwards the first restoration of the Palau began, which would last until 1954, under the direction of provincial architect Manuel Baldrich i Tibau.
In 1954 the building opened as the Museum of Performing Arts, better known as the Theatre Museum. The museum was attached to the Institut del Teatre and was directed by Guillem Díaz-Plaja.
At the same time, from 1952 to 1960, the museum housed the Amics de Gaudí (Friends of Gaudí) association, a leading institution in promoting Catalan Art Nouveau, Modernisme. During those years the Palau was the venue for many ceremonies and concerts, and it became a notable cultural centre.
In 1974 Palau Güell became the Museum of Cinema and Performing Arts, and in 1976, the Centre of Studies and Documentation of Performing Arts and Communication. For these purposes, between 1971 and 1979 it underwent restoration under architects Camil Pallàs i Arisa and Jordi Querol i Piera.
In 1982 a new restoration campaign began under Barcelona Provincial Council's Monument Cataloguing and Conservation Service and ended in 2002 with the opening of the exhibition ‘Life in the Palau: Eusebi Güell and Antoni Gaudí, two men, one project’. The restoration was carried out in stages, under the direction of Antoni González and Pau Carbó.
In 1992, Barcelona Provincial Council acquired a number of pieces of furniture, and in 2002 an exchange with the Güell family extended the collection of original furniture items. In 1996 the Theatre Museum moved to other premises. From 1997 to 2004, guided tours of the Palau were organised.
In May 2004, the Palace was closed while a study was made of the building by the Local Architectural Heritage Service (SPAL) in collaboration with two Catalan public universities to assess its state of conservation, and that of the material and constructive systems, and begin a process of restoration that would last until 2011. In 2008 Palau Güell partially reopened to the public (access to the basement and part of the ground floor only).
The complete reopening of Palau Güell (all its spaces) took place in May 2011.