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July 7, 1988 | STANLEY MEISLER, Times Staff Writer
At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the great Prado Museum in Madrid faced a terrifying threat--the loss of the heart of its collection. Some American art lovers had proposed that the United States forgo the Philippines as war booty from Spain and take the Prado's Diego Velazquez paintings instead. But American bureaucrats slapped down the idea, thus keeping the Prado intact.
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