On the 20th November 1988 the Ministry of Culture signed an agreement with the Baron and Baroness Thyssen by which they lent their collection to Spain for nine years. A few months later the agreement was modified and the entire collection was sold to Spain. The museum is located in the Paseo del Prado, near both the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte "Reina Sofía" and the Museo Nacional del Prado. These three museums cover the complete history of art up to the present day. The museum is housed in the Villahermosa Palace an old neoclassical building. The palace goes back to the days of the Enlightened king [Charles III's#PERSONAS#28] town planning. The site was originally bought by a Court Painter who had a mansion built there. When the area around the Prado became the fashionable centre of the Madrid elite, the Duke of Villahermosa bought the house and knocked it down in order to construct a palace designed according to the new architectural trends that came from French Neoclassicism. The collection that is on display in the palace today was started by the current Baron's father, who came from a German family of heavy industry magnates. The previous Baron Thyssen started off his collection with early German works and slowly acquired more and more works until it became necessary to house it in Villa Favorita. This gallery-palace was closed temporarily until the present Baron reopened it in 1948. He extended the collection with marvellous examples of contemporary art which gave it its finishing touch. After the transfer of the collection to Spain was proposed, the Villahermosa palace, handed over by the Spanish state, was restored and remodelled by the Fundación Thyssen. In 1992 the foundation commissioned the prestigious Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo, to carry out the works. The collection consists of 775 paintings, of which 447 are catalogued as Old Masters (up to the 19th century) and the rest as Modern Masters. It also owns a number of beautiful sculptures and diverse luxury objects of great value. The collection is set out in chronological order from the 13th century to the 20th, grouped by themes or schools. The oldest works are on the top floor and the most recent are on the ground floor, where there are also services such as a projection room, conference room, bookshop and so on.