Karma Guen director Pedro Gómez and councillor for culture, Cynthia García / sur

The Tibetan art of Karma Guen on display at CAC Vélez-Málaga

The collection from the Buddhist centre consists of 84 pieces, with sculptures from the first, sixth, eighth and ninth centuries, including a piece from the Ming dynasty

Eugenio Cabezas

The Karma Guen Buddhist Centre in Vélez-Málaga has been a reference point for Buddhism in southern Europe since 1987. Now the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo (CAC) Francisco Hernández in Vélez-Málaga is hosting the exhibition 'Tibetan Buddhist Art'. Among the collection of 84 pieces are sculptures from the first, sixth, eighth and ninth centuries, Tibetan paintings, a piece from the Ming dynasty and the sculpture that the stupa houses in its dome. There will also be activities related to the exhibition, which can be visited until 6 February.

Inaugurating the exhibition on Monday, Vélez-Málaga’s councillor for culture Cynthia García highlighted that the initiative "is part of the agreement the town hall has with the Karma Guen centre to collaborate in activities related to culture." She added that the collection “can bring the great heritage and the enormous cultural potential that the Karma Guen Centre houses and demonstrate its firm commitment to Vélez-Málaga and the Axarquía to become a national and international benchmark of Buddhist culture.”

Director of the Buddhist Centre, Pedro Gómez, explained that "it is a collection of objects, paintings and sculptures dating from the first century to the present day, including a painting from the Ming dynasty, all on display to the public so that people can learn about the heritage they have in the Axarquia." He went on to say, "The centre is not only a place of meditation, we also try to make people aware of Buddhist culture and the rich traditional Tibetan culture that speaks a lot about thought, knowledge but also science.”

The exhibition belongs to the collection housed in the Buddhist centre, which is possibly one of the most important of its kind in the world. It is made up of more than a thousand pieces, including sculptures that are more than two thousand years old and Thangkas; Tibetan paintings used by Buddhists to meditate, as well as incunabula – early printed books - in Tibetan and Sanskrit.

Opened in 1994

The Karma Guen Buddhist Centre has been in Aldea Alta in Vélez-Málaga for 34 years, during which time more than 150,000 people have visited it. The Kalachakra stupa, inaugurated in 1994, was built under the direction of the great Lama Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche and is the first of its kind in the West. One of the attractions of the exhibition is that visitors will be able to see the sculpture that it houses.

In May this year Vélez-Málaga town hall signed an agreement with the University of Málaga (UMA) and the Karma Guen Centre for Tibetan Studies, with the aim of jointly developing research, development and innovation activities to promote cooperation and the dissemination of Tibetan art and culture, as well as offering training linked to Buddhist culture and the heritage of Karma Guen..

The exhibition will run until 6 February. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm and from 5 to 8pm and on Sundays and public holidays from 10am to 2pm.