Ferran Mascarell: Socialist returns to the Ministry he headed 4 years ago
Artur Mas hired one of his former political adversaries for the top position at the Ministry of Culture. Ferran Mascarell also held this position in 2006, in the left-wing government coalition. Now, he comes back with a centre-right executive. Mascarell has extensive experience in cultural management, in the public and private sectors. He had a successful career in the Barcelona City Council and he was recently on the board of the RBA Editorial House, in charge of audiovisual products.
Barcelona (ACN).- Ferran Mascarell has been the main surprise among the new Government\u2019s appointments, although he has already been critical of his now former party and participated in Mas\u2019 project to unify pro-Catalan political sensibilities. In the last months of Pasqual Maragall\u2019s left-wing government coalition (2003-2006), Ferran Mascarell headed the Ministry for Culture. When Maragall left power, he was not reappointed and he went to the private sector. Mascarell was one of the main representatives of the pro-Catalan sector of the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the main opposition party. His name was even put forward as the possible PSC candidate for Mayor of Barcelona. However, Mascarell did not have enough support in the party. With this hiring, the leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, launches another crisis in the PSC.
Ferran Mascarell was born near Barcelona (in Sant Just Desvern) in 1951. He graduated in History at the Universitat de Barcelona. Mascarell\u2019s career has always been linked to cultural management. He was the editor and director of the history magazine, \u2018L\u2019Avenç\u2019, between 1977 and 1984. In 1982, he was one of the promoters of the Association of Periodical Publications written in Catalan Language. In 1983, he started to be involved in politics, in the orbit of the Catalan Socialist Party. He was appointed Director for Publications of Barcelona Provincial Council. He developed the initial project of the Contemporary Culture Centre of Barcelona (CCCB). Between 1987 and 1991, he coordinated the Area of Culture of Barcelona\u2019s City Council.
Later, he became Catalonia\u2019s Delegate of the Authors and Editors General Society (in charge of copyright and royalty management in Spain). In 1996 he came back to Barcelona\u2019s City Council and was appointed Managing Director of Barcelona\u2019s Institute of Culture. He promoted successful cultural initiatives such as the festival of Barcelona\u2019s Patron Saint and the Grec Summer Art Festival.
In 1999, his political responsibilities increased. He became councillor for Culture in Barcelona\u2019s City Government and councillor for the Gràcia district. In this position he developed Barcelona\u2019s Library Plan and the Cultural Equipment Plan. He has also been a board member of many foundations and city institutions, such as Barcelona Television, the National Museum of Art of Catalonia and the Liceu Opera Theater. He was also a member of the Administration Board of the Universal Forum of Culture \u2013 Barcelona 2004.
In 2006, Pasqual Maragall, former Mayor of Barcelona and then President of the Catalan Government appointed Mascarell as the new Minister for Culture. He held the office for only 8 months, as Maragall called elections early. In 2007 he left frontline politics and joined the private sector. Now, after months of speculation that he could be the substitute for the current Socialist Mayor of Barcelona, Mascarell comes back to politics, but in a Centre-Right government.