Spanish investment in Catalan cultural institutions unbalanced, says Government

Madrid's cultural institutions receive more public funds than those in Catalonia, such as Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art

The Spanish Minister for Culture, Education and Sport and the Catalan president Puigdemont with Ainhoa Grandes
The Spanish Minister for Culture, Education and Sport and the Catalan president Puigdemont with Ainhoa Grandes / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 13, 2017 06:58 PM

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and the Spanish Minister for Culture, Iñigo Méndez Vigo, coincided at the Museum for Contemporary Art Barcelona's 30th anniversary celebration on Monday.

During his speech, Puigdemont reproached the Spanish minister about the fact that the contributions of the Spanish State to Catalan installations such as the MACBA were not balanced at all compared with the investments made in cultural institutions in Madrid.

Iñigo Méndez Vigo, who had sharply defended the opposition of the Spanish executive to the Catalan self-determination referendum last Friday, initiated his speech in Catalan: “Whenever I come to Barcelona I get in a good mood, perhaps because I feel at home. This open and cozy city has always fascinated me,” he said.

It was the first encounter between a Spanish official and the Catalan president at an official event since the announcement of the date and question for the Catalan referendum last Friday. However, on this occasion there were no direct comments on the political stalemate between the two governments.

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, criticized that the part of Spain's investment in cultural institutions in Catalonia was very small compared to public investments in the cultural institutions in Madrid. At the same time, he defended a successful mixed economic model (public-private) for these kinds of institutions as is the case with the MACBA.

Puigdemont also highlighted Barcelona’s role as an international example for contemporary art, thanks to its strong foundation of homegrown creative activity, which had progressed a lot, according to the president, due to a long tradition of patronage from the private sector. He also said that it was necessary to always set new milestones as a society: to foster knowledge and encourage society to appreciate contemporary art.