UK National Gallery picks Prado’s Finaldi as new chief

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s National Gallery has hired Gabriele Finaldi from Madrid’s Prado to be the new director of the London institution, one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The gallery said Wednesday that Finaldi, an expert in Italian and Spanish art, will start work in August.

Finaldi, who is 49 and British, was a curator at the London gallery between 1992 and 2002 before moving to the Prado, where he is deputy director for collections and research.

His time at the Prado coincided with a major expansion of the Madrid museum.

Under outgoing artistic director Nicholas Penny, the London gallery has held blockbuster exhibitions on artists including Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. It attracted 6.4 million visitors in 2014.

But staff have recently gone on strike over privatization plans.