The fascinating story of the tomb of Archbishop Carrillo de Alcalá, which is back in the news for its anniversary – News from the Corredor del Henares

The fascinating story of the tomb of Archbishop Carrillo de Alcalá, which is back in the news for its anniversary – News from the Corredor del Henares
The fascinating story of the tomb of Archbishop Carrillo de Alcalá, which is back in the news for its anniversary – News from the Corredor del Henares

Now it is back in the news. On July 1, 2024, it was 542 years since the death of Archbishop Alfonso Carrillo de Acuña in Alcalá de Henares. His tomb, created by the sculptor Sebastián de Toledo or de Almonacid, is in the museum of the Cathedral-Magistral of Alcalá. “It has a transitional style from Gothic to Renaissance, it has Burgundian elements such as the elements of the towers, the angles or the Gothic capital letter. And Renaissance elements such as the personification of the recumbent man himself,” explains Trinidad Yunquera, historian of the diocese of Alcalá.

In 2014, the bishopric received an email from the Sam Fogg Gallery in London stating that they had a piece on relief of Temperance which, according to his studies, would belong to the tomb of Archbishop Carrillo.

«We immediately set in motion all the machinery to be able to claim that piece that, we understood, had left Spain illegally. We filed a complaint with the Civil Guard and the investigations revealed a second relief that had also disappeared, the relief of Prudencein a museum in Corella (Navarra) belonging to the Arrese Foundation. After several negotiations, they agreed to hand it over to the diocese of Alcalá for its reintegration into the tomb in exchange for an exact replica of that piece for the museum,” explains Juan Miguel Prim, delegate of culture for the diocese of Alcalá.

But the search for the pieces of Carrillo’s tomb did not stop at the discovery of the reliefs of Temperance and Prudence. Some time later, in 2020, a citizen contacted saying that he thought he had identified a tomb tower on a property located in the Community of Madrid, which belongs to what was then the Caja Madrid Foundation. “We identified the piecewhich was donated so that it can be returned to the tomb,” says Prim.

Today the tomb can be visited in the Cathedral Museum.

 
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