Friday, January 28

Since 2014, the Community of Madrid has avoided its legal obligation to invest 1% of each public work in Heritage

The Community of Madrid will continue to freeze the investment of 1% in cultural heritage for 2022, which it has been “suppressed” since 2014. Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP) will also not recover in its 2022 budgets a capital item in the conservation and rehabilitation of the legacy historical and that, due to continuous additional provisions to the Madrid regional budgets, successive governments of the PP have annulled for eight years. This line of investment is required by law for state and regional accounts. Budget after budget, the so-called “1% Cultural” represents the greatest contribution to the preservation of the Spanish historical legacy and contributes to maintaining landmarks such as the Camino de Santiago, the World Heritage Sites declared by Unesco or the urban walls and castles. Despite being a duty provided by law, from the Community of Madrid they only process aid to preserve Madrid’s heritage from the State accounts, as this newspaper has learned from sources from the General Directorate of Historical Heritage.

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Both the state law of 1985 and the regional law of 2013 clarify that from public works contracts an item of at least 1.5% (in the case of the State) will be allocated to conservation or enrichment of Spanish cultural heritage. The articles of the budgets designed by Díaz Ayuso for 2022 say that “the validity of section 1 of article 37” of the 2013 Law of Historical Heritage of the Community of Madrid is suspended. This article clarifies that “the Community of Madrid will reserve the less 1% of its contribution to the budgets of public works that it finances totally or partially in order to invest it in research, documentation, conservation, restoration, dissemination and enrichment of the historical heritage “.

The Ministry of Culture recognizes the cut

A few weeks ago this newspaper advanced the draft of the reform of the Historical Heritage Law of the Community of Madrid, which clarifies that investment in the preservation of the historical and cultural legacy will grow up to 1.5%. But this contribution in research, documentation, conservation, restoration, heritage education and enrichment of cultural heritage will once again be a dead letter in 2022, as has happened since 2014. The Ministry of the Presidency, Justice and the Interior reports that despite the obligation to the Community to reserve 1% of the budgets of the public works in investment in the patrimony, this investment remains “suspended”.

From the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports directed by Marta Rivera de la Cruz, they acknowledge the cut and suspension of the investment but indicate to this newspaper that the Community of Madrid will allocate 9.1 million euros to this chapter next year. “It is 42% more budget for the conservation, maintenance and dissemination of historical heritage than in 2013, the year in which, due to the global economic crisis and unprecedented since the great depression, it was decided to freeze the application of the 1 %. Since then, the Community has increased the budget for heritage conservation significantly “, they say. In 2013 the Ministry of Culture dedicated 6.4 million euros.

In the PSOE they calculate that the heritage sector will stop receiving in 2022 about nine million euros for not applying 1%. This amount corresponds to the percentage of the 900 million euros that are foreseen for chapter six, of investments. Hence, they consider that the governments of the PP in the Community of Madrid have stopped investing more than 80 million euros in equity since 2014.

For the deputy and spokesperson for Culture of the PSOE in the Madrid Assembly, Manuela Villa, it is a “paradoxical” situation. It indicates that the Government of Díaz Ayuso is aware of the importance of this program and that is why they increase it to 1.5% in the new Heritage Law. “The 1% cultural program, which was born in Germany in the 1920s to alleviate the precariousness of artists, is a fundamental tool for the contemporary art and heritage sector. Today more than ever the 1% could be a fantastic tool for the recovery of the heritage sector and the plastic arts “, explains Manuela Villa, who reports that the PSOE has registered an amendment to the 2022 budget of the Community of Madrid” to correct this serious error. ”

Amparo Berlinches, president of the Madrid Citizenship and Heritage association, explains that this item is essential to take care of the patrimonial inheritance. In fact, remember that in its day the Cathedral Plan could be developed thanks to this contribution from the State or the rehabilitation of churches surrounding the construction of the northern highway. “It is important to compensate the investment that is not cultural enrichment, even if it is a significant expenditure on infrastructure,” explains Berlinches.

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has assumed the investment role developed by the former Ministry of Public Works and since 2013 in the contribution to conservation and rehabilitation of Madrid’s heritage, we found 22 actions. For example, the rehabilitation of the Royal Theater, valued at 3.3 million euros; rehabilitation of the old passenger building for the Railway Museum (1.5 million euros); recovery and restoration of the castle of Buitrago de Lozoya (1.5 million euros); restoration of the main cloister of the Cistercian Monastery of San Bernardo (with 1.1 million euros); or the archaeological recovery of the urban planning of the Roman city of Complutum (more than 2 million euros).

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda estimates that every million euros invested generates about 14 direct, indirect and induced jobs, in addition to being a fundamental source of attraction for tourism and a brake on the depopulation of the rural world. In 2020 the cultural 1.5% of the State allowed to undertake 118 projects throughout Spain, with an investment of 95 million euros.