The Board will cost Andalusians and neighborhood guests to enter its museums regardless of the rejection of the opposition and civil society | Culture | EUROtoday

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“Today, when it is free, no one goes to museums. When you have to pay, no one will go to the bucket.” In this forceful method, the emeritus professor of Art History on the University of Seville, Enrique Valdivieso, protests. This member of the Royal Sevillian Academy of Good Letters and most authority on an important baroque painters of the Sevillian college, akin to Murillo, Zurbarán and Valdés Leal, reference artists within the Museum of Fine Arts of the Andalusian capital, solutions by phone EL PAÍS within the midst of the controversy sparked by the latest choice, adopted by the Andalusian Government, to finish free admission in Andalusian museums, which is able to hurt, within the first occasion, the customers of this neighborhood, in line with the info supplied by the Tuesday by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports.

With frontal opposition in opposition to a big a part of civil society and cultural managers linked to museum exercise within the area, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports defends the measure with which it intends to boost 7.8 million euros per yr . This is a regulation that won’t be debated within the regional Parliament – as Adelante Andalucía has criticized – and which, as introduced by the top of that division, Arturo Bernal (PP), is anticipated to be authorised by the Government Council of the Junta de Andalucía “before the summer”.

Andalusia registered within the first quarter of 2024 a complete of 621,552 guests within the museums managed by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports – as collected by the info from the newest statistics regarding museum establishments of the Statistical and Cartography Unit of the autonomous Government – a A decrease quantity in your complete autonomous neighborhood than, for instance, recorded solely by the Prado Museum in the identical interval, which, in line with information from the establishment's web site, amounted to 817,407 guests. Of these visits counted by the Junta de Andalucía, “26.3% were local visitors, 12.8% were Andalusian users, 22.4% were nationals and 38.5% were from outside the country—25. 1% from European Union countries and 13.4% from the rest of the world—”, signifies a press launch distributed to the media by the Ministry. The information on native and regional guests seem individually within the official assertion, but when added, they characterize a complete of 39.1% of visits, the most important group of those that go by the artwork galleries and archaeological complexes within the area.

“It's a shame, because our cities are full of tourists and only 10% go to museums; The rest walk the streets to gorge themselves on counterfeit paella. “This is an absolutely unfortunate measure,” continues Valdivieso, even earlier than realizing these official information that endorse his opinion.

“It is a necessary measure in line with what is done in the rest of Spain,” Bernal defended this Monday earlier than the media. The counselor has repeated a number of occasions that “what does not cost, has no value”, to justify the cost, which, he additionally assures, goals to “make the culture sustainable.” This is a rule that shall be carried out progressively and that, as quickly as it’s carried out, will initially have an effect on 9 museums and archaeological complexes: the Fine Arts museums of Seville and Granada, the archaeological complexes of Itálica (Seville), Medina Azahara (Córdoba), the Dolmens of Antequera (Málaga), the Alcazaba of Almería and the Museums of Málaga, the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, and the Flamenco Museum of Andalusia, positioned in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). The goal is for the measure to increase to the 34 museum and archaeological facilities in Andalusia, each its personal and people managed due to the switch of powers to the autonomies, however that are property of the State.

The costs, “popular” in line with the counselor, will vary between two and 6 euros per particular person and can have an effect on all guests no matter their origin, though the Andalusian Government highlights “the number of exemptions” during which the freed from cost: beneath 18 years outdated, 18 to 29 years outdated who’ve a Youth Card, over 65 years outdated, unemployed, disabled folks with a companion, lecturers and guides. In addition, at some point every week there shall be an open day with no entrance price and different designated dates, akin to International Museum Day or 28-F, a vacation of the Andalusian Autonomy.

The Junta de Andalucía thus ends greater than twenty years of complete free admission within the area's museums. Since 2001, non-EU overseas guests solely needed to pay 1.5 euros. For Europeans, together with Spaniards and Andalusians, entry was free, apart from the Monumental Complex of the Alhambra in Granada (with a worth of 18 euros) and the Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art in Seville (1.80 euros), whose statutes Legal laws grant each the standing of autonomous organizations, though hooked up to the Ministry of Culture of the Andalusian Government.

“If we end up charging admission to museums, we will advance in converting Andalusians into tourists of their own heritage,” artwork historian Manuel Jesús Roldán, an professional within the work of the Sevillian sculptor, wrote this week on the social community from the seventeenth century Luisa, The Roller. “I am against generic free policies,” he added, “but in this case the measure could lead to greater local distancing from their museums. Furthermore, the collection funds would not have quantitative importance for the necessary improvement of many of these.” Adding to this argument is the veteran curator Pablo Hereza, who has additionally held totally different positions of accountability in museums managed by the Government of Andalusia: “I have always thought that this is a mistake. Entry to museums is only justified when the income is significant and applicable. Consider charging to go to a library or archive. Museums don't win from this. Others win…those who use it for their interests,” he wrote on the identical social community.

In this sense, Valdivieso urges the establishment that manages the artwork galleries and archaeological complexes in Andalusia to “stop charging” and undertake insurance policies to draw guests and sure pedagogy across the content material of our museums. “The measure should be the opposite, in addition to the fact that the visit must be free, it would have to be accompanied by attraction campaigns, with well-understood and completed visits, understanding that entering a museum increases the culture, good taste and sensitivity of its visitors, virtues that emanate from the contemplation and knowledge of works of art.”

Ana Zamorano, president of the citizen group Friends of Medina Azahara, reveals, nevertheless, as a place to begin that “absolute free admission as it was proposed has never seemed good to us,” though she is obvious that “local visitors should not pay. The collection, if proposed, should not be generalized, but by section, origin and income. For example, some people over 65 have a high income,” he explains to EL PAÍS in a phone dialog. “The really worrying thing is tourism. They have altered the habitability in the historic center of our city, the life of the businesses… It would be important to talk better about the tourist tax, which must exist, we must regulate and seriously consider what is happening with tourism. How we get to places and how we leave them. “That tourists return to the city not only in the service sector (hotels, bars…), but in the conservation of its heritage,” she adds.

Zamorano touches, not by chance, on one of the issues that has most surprised cultural managers and the political opposition: the Junta de Andalucía adopts the measure of charging entrance fees for local visitors to its own museums in the midst of the debate over the tourist tax, which the Andalusian Government has opposed from the beginning and which has now agreed to study at the request of the mayors of the main Andalusian cities, all of them from its own party (PP).

Medina Azahara in Córdoba.
Medina Azahara in Córdoba.Antonio Ribeiro (Getty Images)

“In the case of Córdoba, the local population has renounced its own heritage and it is tourism that has been gaining space in the city. In the end everything becomes a decoration designed for tourism and the city as such has disappeared,” emphasizes the president of Friends of Medina Azahara. Valdivieso provides to this argument: “There is the possibility of implementing a tourist tax, but the Board does not consider it and, however, they want to charge in museums, where the pedagogy must be totally different. It's not understood”

Opposition criticism

The collection initiative has also been criticized by the opposition to the Government of Juan Manuel Moreno. Precisely, last Monday, while the Minister of Culture defended the benefits of charging museum tickets to the media, the group Adelante Andalucía presented an emergency law in Parliament with the aim of paralyzing the measure. “The registered Proposal of Law aims to guarantee free entry to Andalusian-run museums to ensure that there is no economic discrimination when it comes to enjoying, knowing and learning about Andalusian culture,” defined the group's spokesperson, José Ignacio. Garcia.

For his half, Rafael Recio, spokesperson for the PSOE-A within the Culture Commission, additionally replied to this new regulation in his final look on May 9: “The Minister of Culture understands heritage and culture as just another consumer good. Culture is a good of general interest and a fundamental pillar for human development that must have easy access for citizens, accompanied by an incentive strategy for its consumption,” he stated on the parliamentary headquarters.

“The counselor who is so afraid of the tourist tax as a deterrent measure, doesn't he consider that establishing a fee to enter museums can also be one?” added Recio. It is right here, on this paradox, the place the Andalusian Government feels most cornered, and the place it has had probably the most to defend itself. Bernal has blamed PSOE and Por Andalucía (Sumar's model locally) for clinging “to the confusion between a generic tax on tourism, which is something very complex, and charging for the provision of a specific service, such as access to an exhibition or a museum.” “One thing and the other have nothing to do with each other. I think it is clear, their dialectic in this case does not hold up much,” added Bernal, who on a number of events has been in opposition to the vacationer tax.

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