A royal decree approved this Monday in the Council of Ministers will allow the arrival of 20 million euros to finance the cultural and scientific coca-capital of Barcelona in 2021. This financing, suspended since 2011, was activated again after the agreement reached by Mayor Ada Colau and the president of the government Pedro Sánchez in February 2020 who recognized Barcelona as the cultural and scientific capital of the State, along with Madrid. Almost nearing the end of 2021, the 37 negotiated grants will arrive. They will take the form of direct subsidies from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM). Will be allocated 17.5 million euros to culture and 2.5 million to the main cultural institutions dedicated to the scientific dissemination.The Grec Festival, with 1,570,000 euros, to the Picasso Foundation with 1,500,000 euros and the Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música Catalana Foundation with 1,100,000 euros, the Auditori with 1 million euros and the Liceu with 800,000 euros are some of the main benefited cultural institutions. “The grant will help them save, balance their balance sheets, in a year that has been especially hard because of the pandemic,” said Jordi Martí, the Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education, Science and Community.
There are four broad areas to which the funds will go this year. First, the institutions that have suffered the most during the pandemic, those that depended on ticket sales and would have closed with a large budget deficit in 2021. Another section is the centers or activities related to the city’s science plan that includes from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (600,000 euros), the Science Biennial (500,000 euros) and the Museu de Ciències Naturals, with 880,000 euros of which 250,000 will go to the architectural project to recover the historic building of the Ciutadella park. Cultural innovation also benefits from the 2021 cocapitality departure: the Canòdrom will receive 300,000 euros and festivals such as the Llum Festival held this weekend, 900,000 euros. There will also be a game of 4 million for renovations and architectural projects.
2.3 million for the MNAC
The MNAC, for example, will receive 2.3 million euros (1.4 million will go to its architectural expansion and 800,000 euros to exhibitions). The Museu Nacional d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Macba) will also have a million to build the annex building in Plaza dels Àngels and 200,000 euros for exhibitions. The Miró Foundation will receive 1 million euros, the Fundació Tàpies, 650,000 euros
“This form of financing alleviates an imbalance and injustice,” said Martí, that expects even more aid in the future to balance the balance between spending on culture by the State in Madrid and in the Catalan capital. For next year, he has announced that the coca-capital funds will be included in the general state budgets. They will also be around 20 million, “although there may be slight variations.”
Barcelona allocates almost 6% of its budget to culture, and it will continue to maintain the same commitment to the sector despite the expected injection of money. Martí clarified that, unlike the last coca-capitality agreement signed with the Zapatero government, this new agreement does not include other direct contributions that the State makes in consortia in which it participates, such as the Liceu, Macba or Auditori. Now everything is much clearer. Despite the “satisfaction” to recover a necessary game, Martí warns that they are far from the goal set. “In the future, both the presence of the State in our institutions and the cocapitality funds should grow.”