Spanish museums, run by the state, are facing reviews, in an attempt to advance them “beyond the colonial framing” of history. Spokesperson for the socialist-led government of Spain declared this information on Monday. Ernest Urtasun, appointed culture minister last November, declared his commitment to ensuring the efficient use of cultural rights across Spain” to the congressional culture committee.
Spanish Museums Started Modifying Their Programmes
The culture minister also spoke about strengthening the ties between international organisations and Spain’s cultural institutions. With that in mind, one of the challenges we’re proposing…is the establishment of spaces for dialogue and exchange. They will allow us to move past a colonial framing or one rooted in old gender or ethnocentric habits that have so often damaged how we see heritage, history and artistic legacies”, the minister said.
He also added: “As you know, museums are living organisms that respond to the issues and debates of the times”. Stating that the nation’s culture sector’s primary objective is is creating forums for discussion and interaction that will enable them to go over colonial framing. This also includes ethnocentric behaviours that frequently harmed their perceptions of history, legacy, and artistic legacies.
The Museum of America and the National Anthropological Museum, according to Urtasun, already started with modifying their programmes. They wanted to represent the welcoming objectives of the culture ministry. “We’re working to recognize and draw attention to the perspectives of the communities and the memory of the peoples from whom these works on display came”.
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Growing Number of Art Censorship Cases
Urtasun also called attention to the growing number of art censorship cases in Spain. He said his department supported any individual or group whose work was taken down or prohibited from being shown in public. Over the summer, plays, films, and other artworks that supported LGBTQ+ and feminist perspectives became suppressed. In response, protests erupted across Spain, spearheaded by the activist group Organización para la Libertad Artística (OLA).
The demonstrations took place in opposition to a contentious national, regional, and local election season in Spain. Also, many expressed concern the nation was reverting to conservatism or perhaps the fascism of Francoism, which the republic had overthrown in 1975. “Protecting culture and understanding its relevance in building an equal society means protecting democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms and the welfare state”, said Urtasun in his address to the congressional culture committee.
In December 2023, Vox (conservative party) successfully scrapped a 23-year-old cultural festival in the northeastern city of Huesca. The party threated to torpedo the upcoming budget offered by Huesca’s PP-controled council. Vox’s culture spokesperson, Joaquín Robles, however, denied all accusations that his party was censoring cultural expression in a public rebuttal to Urtasun.