Urtasun recalls the anti-fascist memory of Jorge Semprún during his inauguration as Minister of Culture

In a friendly and even jocular atmosphere, compared to the tensions experienced in other departments, the new Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun, This afternoon he received his folder, which had already been separated from sports competitions, from the hands of his predecessor Miquel Iceta. Two Catalan politicians, one important representative of the now all-powerful PSC and that Codename of the Comuns by Ada Colau In the new government, they succeed each other at the head of an institution that, as both stressed in their speeches, must do so ensure cultural diversity of the plural country Spain.

In his first words at the head of the ministry, Urtasun has described “the right of access to culture as inevitable” and defended freedom of expression as an inherent element of democracy and emphasized its opposition to “vetos” and attempts at censorship, as observed by some conservative governments in recent months.

Urtasun had begun his intervention by saying how difficult the outgoing minister had made things for him with an “intelligent, cultured, entertaining intervention… and me”. I’m going to read something very boring” he joked to the laughter of the audience. He confirmed that he had received the wallet “from a friend” and mentioned the similarities between the two: a shared culture and a city, Barcelona.

After reminding all the people, ministries and institutions associated with him that, since his appointment was announced, they would make it easier for them to assume their new responsibilities, he admitted to having suffered from the same dizziness as on the day he took office in 2021, Iceta confessed to the Reviewing the list of predecessors in office among whom he mentioned Jorge SemprunJordi Solé Tura O Carmen Alborch.

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With Semprún, whose 100th birthday will be celebrated in a few days, he placed particular emphasis on a figure about whom he said: “He fascinates me on a personal level because He is the writer and politician of anti-fascist memorya prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp whom I was allowed to visit as a child and who impressed me the most.” Urtasun defended the validity of the values ​​embodied by Semprún even today, “in a Europe in which conservative and ultra-conservative forces and governments are trying to “to establish their exclusive narratives” by denying linguistic or emotional-sexual diversity and using censorship.

Urtasun said he would “hoist the flag of culture in the face of censorship and fear.” “This ministry – he stressed – must be an expression of what Spain already is: an interface of different cultures and traditions.”

Iceta’s farewell

After receiving a long ovation from his ministry’s staff and praising Yolanda Díaz’s efforts to reach agreements and be able to form a new progressive government, Iceta recognized that some of his ministry’s projects still await completion. “Minister Urtasun still has a task ahead of himbut we have broken a taboo, namely the idea that no exceptions can be made for a sector. There is a cultural exception, as France has already taught us,” he said. He also took stock of some of his ministry’s achievements, such as copyright protection and some laws “that are on the back burner. We have already spoken to the minister about some of these.”

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“This is a very rich country,” Iceta said. We are a cultural power of the first order. I hope that, first of all, we believe in this and that we are then able to pass on our enthusiasm for culture, heritage and creation to all our fellow citizens. I invite you to demand more culture from us.” “Because with more culture,” he added, “better society, more joy, more life, more intelligence.” I think we deserve it.”

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