Nobody else knew about the room. It was one of the advantages of wealth, to be able to bring tradesmen in from somewhere distant, tell them what he wanted, have them build it, then leave with their silence well & truly bought. No planning permissions. No records anywhere.
Nobody knew about the paintings he hid there. Nor would they believe it should they have heard. Why would a blind man have paintings?
Wealthy and blind. Or, chronologically, blind & wealthy. An open mind, that allowed him to conceptualise small gadgets that would help the visually impaired, one of which, a vibrating pager on which he held several patents, continued to prove popular in the sighted market. Royalties, riches.
Thus the room. & the paintings. Somewhere he had read about "Guernica", how it screamed with the pain of the aerial bombing that had prompted it. He coveted it, paid a significant part of his fortune, though that was soon replaced, to have it stolen, to have it for himself.
Others followed. Works by Grosz & the German expressionists. Magritte's "The Rape." Munch's "The Scream." A strident collection that was his alone, silent to the outside world, to which he would make his way each night, to listen to the paintings.
Mark Young hails from Australia. He edits the adventurous new 'zine Otoliths and blogs at http://mhcyoung.blogspot.com.