Saturday, October 16

Culture rises 40%, the largest oxygen bomb in the history of democracy

Culture is one of the portfolios that rises the most within the General State Budgets. While Education grew 2.6% and Science and Innovation 18.9%, Culture and Sports received 38.4% more than in the previous year, an increase that has the European contribution.

In total, Miquel Iceta’s ministry will be able to spend 1,589 million euros in 2022, 963 million of national contribution and 356 of the European Union. The favorite item of this ministry are the Museums and Exhibitions with 197 million euros, 20% more than last year. It is followed by Cinema, which had been frozen in the previous game, Music and Dance, the sectors most affected by the pandemic. The most important expense is the one destined to the youth bond so that people of 18 years old invest in culture, and that will be financed with 210 million euros.

Counting on European aid, this is the most generous amount that has ever been allocated to the sector. The figure exceeds 1,284 million in 2009, during the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which until now was the highest in the last two decades. Without the contribution of the EU, however, the rise would remain at 1,233 million. It is also the highest figure after the successive cuts by the Popular Party, which in 2013 reduced it to a record low of 721 million euros.

The most pampered: museums and exhibitions

Museums have been one of the great winners of these budgets, with an amount of 195.22 million representing an increase of 20.5% over the previous item. In this way, the figures for the main art galleries in the country rise: the budget for the Prado Museum increases by 7 million, aimed at the museum adaptation of the Salón de Reinos or the configuration of a campus; the Reina Sofía increases its allocation for the acquisition of works of art 4 million; and the Thyssen Bornemisza receives 11 million more for the conservation and exhibition of his works. This last institution, in addition, this year reached an agreement with the Government through which the State will pay 6.5 million annually for 15 years to Carmen Cervera.

The economic program for exhibitions, however, has not benefited so much. It receives 1.52 million, which represents a reduction of 28.3% compared to the previous year, despite the fact that the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, emphasized the blow that visits to the art galleries received due to the capacity restrictions incurred of COVID-19. Likewise, we must remember in the exhibitions, in the 2020 budgets, they already fell by 2.9% to stand at 2.12%.

The cinema thaws

The performing arts (cinema, theater, music and dance) obtained a budget of 169 million euros, 8.2% more. The resources allocated to cinematography grew by 13.5%, with 97 million euros, of which the bulk (70 million euros) will be received by subsidies for both films and research, distribution or festival production. Another important part of 10 million euros goes directly to theaters. Most of the grants are awarded in competitive competition but the Ministry grants some nominative ones, such as those that support the festivals of San Sebastián, Málaga or Sitges.

The music halls, still in the air

The music and dance program, which includes both aid and maintenance for large national companies, such as Dance or the Teatro de la Zarzuela, accounted for 113 million euros, an increase of 4.3%, three points less than the you got last year.

This item includes the financing of the future National Dance Center, which will be the headquarters for both the Company and the National Ballet, but also investment in the current venues, which suffer from deficiencies in their structures. However, the budget leaves in the air the aid to music venues, which after the pandemic are in a critical situation and did not obtain support in 2021, although the document indicates its intention to support them with its own subsidy line.

The theater and the circus have an endowment of 56 million euros, which is channeled mainly through the maintenance of public theaters, such as the National Dramatic Center or the National Classical Theater Company. The rise is 7.8%.

14% more for literature

The Book comes back up. This sector was the big hit in 2020, but in 2021 the Government rewarded it. With 14.36 million euros, the amount allocated in 2022 to public and private companies in the sector, as well as literary events and programs to promote reading, rises 14%.

The Libraries program has 51.83 million euros, which represents an increase of 4.8 with respect to the previous year. Even more generous is the item for Archives, which rises 14% over the 2020 report and reaches 31.07 million. Between the two they add up to 84 million euros, which, among other things, will be used to promote reading, books and libraries.

It also includes credits to finance reforms, such as the works in the State Public Libraries (BPE) and in the Provincial Historical Archives, highlighting the construction works of the new headquarters of the BPE in Malaga.

Heritage rises, but it remains without a new law

The item destined to heritage, which includes its administration and protection, as well as the conservation and restoration of cultural assets, grows by just 2.7% but in total there are 158 million, one of the most generous. However, Iceta has already given up on updating the Heritage Law. The draft presented by the previous Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, “is born dead” for the new owner.

The draft of the future Heritage Law came to replace that of 1985, approved in 2015 by the PP without the consensus of the rest of the political groups. The text intended to include those heritages that were not contemplated in the 80s, such as the industrial, the underwater, and the cinematographic and audiovisual. However, the point of friction consisted in the incorporation of the category of Asset of World Interest (BIM), above the Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) and which until now is the responsibility of the autonomous communities.

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