Nerja: a place of refuge

Maurice Zalcman at Nerja museum.
Maurice Zalcman at Nerja museum. / sur
  • Nerja's museum looks back to its artistic past through the eyes of the late Marce Zalcman, a Polish-born Nerja resident

The Nerja museum will be hosting a fascinating and symbolic exhibition from today called ‘Nerja se recuerda’ (Nerja looks back). The artist behind the project is the late Maurice Zalcman, one of Nerja’s first foreign residents.

Maurice was born in Poland in 1923, but was of French nationality and grew up in Belgium.

During the Second World War, having spent time in a Nazi labour camp, he escaped from a train destined for a concentration camp in eastern Europe and travelled clandestinely through Belgium, France and into Spain.

While in Spain, Maurice was arrested and spent three months in prison in Jaca. After his release in 1943 he went to Casablanca in Morocco, where he joined the allied forces and took part in the Normandy landings and the liberation of Paris before going to Berchtesgaden in Germany, where he stayed until the war was over.

After the war the artist studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris and while there he met Pablo Picasso.

He eventually returned to Nerja with his family in 1957, where he remained until his death in 1996.

He spent much of his time painting the town, as well as the coast and mountains that surround it.

The Nerja Cave Foundation, which manages the museum, describes Maurice Zalcman’s work as “evoking the sentiment of Nerja at a time before the town was a tourist destination.”

The exhibition runs until 5 November and the museum is open every day from 9am until 4pm. Entry is four euros for adults and two euros for children from six to 12 years old.