San Diego Museum of Art acquires two major paintings

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SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Museum Of Art has acquired two new paintings valued at $3.5 million thanks to the generosity of local philanthropist Conrad Prebys and Leglear Benbough Foundation.

“St. Francis in Prayer in a Grotto,'' a classic 17th century painting by Francisco de Zurbaran andBy the Seashore Valencia,” (1908) by Joaquín Sorolla were donated to the museum by Prebys. Prebys and museum director Roxana Velasquez spent three years trying to acquire the paintings from Spain.

“Incredible painting and it moves me, I can look at it for hours and hours … that’s all,” said Prebys.

The paintings are the most important and valuable acquisitions for the museum in the last several decades, and further strengthen the museum’s internationally renowned collection of Spanish art.

Prebys, who grew up in Indiana admitted, he did not appreciate art until he visited the museum and met with Velasquez.

“If it helps brings one person I have done my job," said Prebys.

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