Political groups, except for the PP, denounce the lack of transparency in the protection of cultural property


The Madrid Citizenship and Heritage association has telematically summoned the cultural spokespersons of the main political groups that present themselves in the 4-M elections, to debate on the protection of the cultural assets of the Community of Madrid and all They agree on the need to improve and expand the mechanisms of transparency, citizen participation and adequate legal control. The citizen group that has been in charge of the defense of these assets for a decade, assures that transparency “is conspicuous by its absence” in the bureaucratic procedures to preserve and defend the heritage. They regret the lack of resources (Heritage is 8.7% of the budget allocated to culture) and that it is “impossible” for Madrilenians to know the status of the processing of files for Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC). The lack of democratic control that this situation implies has been in evidence in the case of the sale in 2012 of the portrait of Valentín Belvís de Moncada y Pizarro, painted by Goya in 1795, What elDiario.es has told. Juan Miguel Villar Mir acquired the husband of Esperanza Aguirre, for five million euros, the valuable painting, and the former president hid it from the Administration she directed.

Esperanza Aguirre used her position as president of Madrid to hide the unpublished Goya

Esperanza Aguirre used her position as president of Madrid to hide the unpublished Goya

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As Alberto Tellería, from Madrid Citizenship and Heritage, has indicated, resolving this entrenched situation during the PP governments does not help the reform of the Autonomous Heritage Law, which was approved by the PP in 2013 and declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 20% of its articles five years ago. Two legislatures have passed and the norm still does not conform to the constitutional mandate. The association also warns that the creation of the same cannot be done with its back to society, because it is in it where the will to protect the heritage resides. That is why transparency is a priority, they indicate. At the moment, there are assets pending to be declared BIC since 1977.

Alicia Torija, for Más Madrid, has cited the case of the Goya of Esperanza Aguirre and Villar Mir to speak of a “lucrative” model and incompatible with the control and protection of cultural property, but has also pointed out the neglect in which maintains Velintonia (Vicente Aleixandre’s house), the destruction of part of the set of Apostolic Ladies and the Peironcely building, where Robert Capa took a photo. In addition, he has assured that the PP Law laid down in the Constitutional Court was “unprotective” and similar to the proposals of the reform of the Land Law approved by the PP. He has also brought out the colors of Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s party when he pointed out that in the cultural section of his program there is not even a mention of the future Heritage Law. “We need transparency in the declaration processes of a BIC, as well as the publication of the minutes,” says Torija. And he warned that the Community of Madrid cannot lose more elements of the patrimony by plundering: “We cannot allow that the historical patrimony is subtracted from the society.”

Pedro Corral, spokesman for the PP, has proposed to resolve the obscurantism in the procedures related to heritage, that the citizen go to the transparency portal to ask about the BIC. Regarding the new Law, which Ciudadanos did not present and which should have been approved by this legislature, he assured that it would be called the Law of Cultural Heritage, because it intended to expand the assets to be protected. For everything she has defended the role of the former Minister of Culture, Marta Rivera de la Cruz, of Citizens, of whom she highlighted her “dialogue attitude” and whom Isabel Díaz Ayuso also praised at the time she was dismissed from her post. Corral excused the former counselor for not having approved it: “He has not come forward due to the pandemic.” From the Citizens group, Miguel Mayoral, has preferred not to name Rivera de la Cruz and has not been able to detail in what terms he was reforming the Law. His most striking proposal is to end the BIC classification and establish a classification of goods “rated with stars. “. Mayoral has demanded more transparency because “heritage is bread for Spain.”

The representative of the PSOE, Manuela Villa, assured in her speech that the assets that make up the heritage of the Community of Madrid need a regulatory framework that protects heritage “as it deserves” and “standards that provide us with better tools for control”. He agrees with Citizens on the ability of heritage to generate wealth. Mariano Muniesa, for Podemos-IU, calls for a participatory culture and transparency so that citizens are able to control the processes of conservation and protection of heritage. “There is no transparency without citizen participation”, which is why he proposes that catalogs and inventories be accessible to anyone. Finally, he has asked for more personnel for the General Directorate of Heritage to resolve the hundreds of BIC requests that clog the administration. Jaime de Berenguer, from Vox, said that the law has not been changed although there was a will, need and agreement between all the parties. “For some reason that we do not know, it has not been done,” he said. To resolve the lack of transparency and control, he proposed that the management take the procedure blockchain –A registry to protect the security and privacy of cryptocurrency transactions– because in this way “we eliminate intermediaries and improve wealth management with less expense.” And since they are to be eliminated, he has also proposed ending the Ministry of Culture because it produces “many charges and many burdens.”

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