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One more month, until January 31, is the deadline set by the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, to reach an agreement with Carmen Cervera on the transfer of his collection, as he explains in an interview with Efe, in which he anticipates that the Thyssen Museum “could incorporate works from the XXI century.”

With his eyes already set on a “more positive horizon”, Rodríguez Uribes, who will be in office for one year on January 13, explained that one of the first meetings he will hold in 2021 will be with the baroness to reach an agreement on the one that none of the parts will be able to fix “red lines” and will have to analyze different scenarios. Because, the minister added, “it is not the same that the Mata Mua is in the collection unless it is not there ” and “because a new assessment of the collection has to be made”, which is already underway.

The Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes. FERNANDO ALVARADO / EFE
The baroness asks for compensation for handing over a collection that she lent to the State for 10 years in 1999 and whose stay at the Thyssen Museum has been extended since 2011. “We have to see how much the State can give,” said the minister, “because the current situation is not that of 2019 [when an agreement was about to be reached] and now there is a pandemic ”.

Rodríguez Uribes has considered that the baroness has “a good disposition” to negotiate, as does Culture, and has affirmed that in the meetings held so far they have understood each other “well”, so he hopes to close an agreement that several have already sought of his predecessors in the ministry and that, he wanted to specify, does not affect the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum as a whole.

Moreover, regardless of that agreement, in Culture “a new museum plan is being considered” for the three large art galleries – Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen – that would make the Thyssen incorporate works of the 21st century to its collection. In this way, the Prado would stay with its journey to Picasso, the Reina Sofía would focus on the 20th and 21st centuries and the Thyssen would give “a general panoramic view”, which would not compete with the Reina Sofía, whose director, Manuel Borja-Villel, agrees with this idea.

At the return of the Christmas holidays, as already reported in the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Culture will send a letter to the Ministries of Labor, Social Security, Finance and Education to resume the “common work” with the objective to develop what he considers “a challenge of the legislature”, the Statute of the artist .
An inter-ministerial technical table will meet that “will have to work conscientiously” without setting a specific temporal objective, Rodríguez Uribes has clarified on the work plans so that the Statute of the artist becomes a reality that gives “legal certainty” and “makes visible” to the culture workers. “The statute has to recognize creators because culture is an industry”, he specified.

Another of its objectives for 2021 is the creation of a “great pact for culture”, which would be the “previous step” to recognize it as a “fundamental right”, because that way “it will be protected and as it is a right it could not be abused”.

With a budget of 848 million euros, to which must be added 206 million from European aid, Rodríguez Uribes will have “the windows open” of his ministry because with that money he not only wants to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on the cultural industry, but to create “great projects” that transform it.

One of the cultural industries that it intends to transform is that of fashion: “We have great authors, but we do not have large industries, with one exception”, and has pointed to depopulated Spain as a key element “to make a comprehensive approach”. There is already a strategic plan and starting in January a fashion table will be created to develop manufacturing or manufacturing. “Author’s fashion is one of the levers of the Spain Brand, like gastronomy, which does not depend on us, but should be in Culture”, he stated. Cultural industries are one of the most important tourist attractions in Spain.

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