Catalina Solivellas is an actress. In July last year she was appointed culture delegate for the Balearic government. This was not some honorary title. It was a political appointment, one that had the appearance of a knee-jerk reaction. In constructing the pact government’s “organogram”, culture was nowhere to be seen. A ministry and ministerial responsibility had disappeared. Loud questions were asked, to which the response was that culture was now part of the ministry of the presidency. Few were convinced. The impression was that the government had either forgotten about culture or had decided to downgrade its importance.

On Wednesday, Solivellas appeared before parliament’s culture committee. The opposition PP had been demanding an appearance for months. They have not been alone in doubting her experience and questioning why the culture ministry had gone. An appointment by PSOE, there have been those from the other pact parties who have been wondering the same.

Solivellas may well turn out to be perfectly capable, but this isn’t really the point. When Més had culture under Fanny Tur, there was praise for the way in which the cultural industry was finally being taken seriously; Marcos Ferragut, the director of Palma Auditorium was one to have said so. The cultural and creative industries had been identified as an economic area of strategic importance, and yet the new government structure failed to acknowledge this, while the appointment of Solivellas appeared to be a kind of playing to the public gallery when this failure was realised.

Strategic importance? Really?

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