The former Minister of Culture, José Guirao He died this morning at his home in Madrid after having suffered from an illness for the last 16 months, as reported by the Montemadrid Foundation, an institution in which he directed the Casa Encendida and from which he left to direct the ministry in 2018. His arrival at the portfolio came after the resignation of Máximo Huerta, name chosen by Pedro Sánchez to be his first Minister of Culture after Huerta's controversy over a tax scandal. Guirao came as a middle name, but quickly became a respected and beloved name throughout the industry. In fact, his replacement was lamented by the entire sector, which asked that he remain in charge.
"The embolaos bulls are just as horrible or more than the bullfights, and in Catalonia they defend them as a tradition"
The cultural manager was also director of the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum from 1994 to 2000, the year in which he joined the Montemadrid Foundation to work on the opening of a new sociocultural center, La Casa Encendida, which opened at the end of 2002. After converting the center located in Lavapiés into a contemporary benchmark in our country, in 2013 he was appointed General Director of Fundación Montemadrid, a position he held until June 2018 when he was appointed Minister of Culture and Sports.
In 2020, after passing through the ministry, he rejoined the general management of the Foundation. At the end of 2021, he informed the board of trustees of his decision to leave the direction of the Foundation, since he was occupied in April of this year by Amaya de Miguel, who was director of INAEM during her mandate in Culture. From his position as consultant for special projects, in recent months he had dedicated much of his time to the recovery project of the Palacio de la Música on Madrid's Gran Vía.
His beginnings in cultural management were closely related to the Spanish avant-garde scene since the 90s and before jumping to Madrid he held positions in the Andalusian Administration, first as head of the Department of Culture of the Provincial Council of Almería from 1983 to 1987 and more Later he was General Director of Cultural Assets of the Junta de Andalucía from 1988 to 1993.
His replacement in the position at Fundación Montemadrid, Amaya de Miguel, has expressed his sadness at the loss of José Guirao, whom he has defined as "a benchmark in cultural management in this country, who helped to renew and move towards the avant-garde" . “I was lucky enough to share part of that journey with him and to see his human and intellectual stature. I keep that memory, ”she said in a statement from the institution.
In the Ministry of Culture he left a photo to remember, that of the approval of the persecuted and desired Statute of the Artist, for which he achieved unanimity among all the political parties in the Congress of Deputies. Guirao recovered the General Book Directorate that the PP had made disappear from the ministry, with the aim of seeking solutions to the bookstore crisis and continuing to support the promotion of reading; and he had to face the crisis of the SGAE in his two years in office.