The Ministry of Culture, which is managed by vice-president Vicente Barrera, has promoted the removal of the manager of the General Council of the Consortium of Museums of the Valencian Community (CMCV), José Luís Pérez Pont. The decision has been executed by the General Council of the entity and has been justified, according to the regional secretary of Culture and Sport, Paula Año (Vox) "given the irregularities and malpractice committed in its management".
"It is a disciplinary dismissal," added Añó, who has argued that the decision has been adopted "after verifying the existence of irregularities and knowing in depth the functioning and situation of the public organizations assigned to the vice presidency and the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The decision has generated great discomfort in the world of Culture, which, in general, valued Pérez Pont's management very positively. In fact, the representative of the Consell Valencià de Cultura, CVC, has voted against this decision. The vice president Vicente Barrera, the regional secretary of Culture (as member), the mayors of the three provincial capitals and the presidents of the three regional councils of the Community, the latter all from the PP, voted in favor.
The PSPV and Compromís have criticized the termination, considering that it is a "sectarian" decision. Thus, the spokesperson for Culture of the PSPV in Les Corts, Jose Chulvi, has shown the "total support" of the socialist group for Pérez Pont "and the entire world of culture who, unanimously, have rejected his dismissal and have supported a person who has been chosen by public contract and following the manual of good practices".
In that sense, Chulvi has valued the "magnificent management of José Luis Pérez Pont" and has criticized that his dismissal "is due exclusively to the sectarianism of Mazón and his vice president and culture minister, who prioritize their sectarian ideology over management".
For his part, the Ombudsman of Compromís in Les Corts, Joan Baldoví, has sent encouragement and support to the dismissed cultural manager, while regretting the dismissal of "a director who turned a museum forgotten by the PP into an international reference that attendees quadrupled." "But that is not enough for the Mazón government, they are more than directors convicted of corruption like Consuelo Ciscar," Baldoví ironically said in reference to the former director of the IVAM.
The department has insisted to justify the dismissal that "it has been proven that one of the public sector managers, in this case Pérez Pont, accumulated several unfavorable intervention and audit reports that have occurred constantly and repeatedly." Specifically, Añó has referred to the reports of the Audit Office, the Intervention of the Generalitat and the supporting auditing firms.
Likewise, he has detailed that non-compliance has been detected in the contracting of goods and services, a conviction for damage to heritage (the 'graffitied' cloister of the Center del Carme de València) and conflict with the staff due to the approval of the General Council, in December 2017, of a list of jobs to put the positions of CMCV workers out to tender.
He added that "serious irregularities and bad practices have been detected in the performance of his duties by the manager, which is why, from the point of view of government responsibility, he cannot be kept in office under any circumstances."
It has also justified the General Council's loss of confidence in the manager upon learning of a report from the Valencian Institute of Restoration and Conservation (IVCR i) which highlights "the poor condition" of the works of art acquired under the Incentive Plan of Contemporary Art.
These works, he has indicated, are deposited in a warehouse in Riba-roja (Valencia) "without conservation conditions, failing to comply with the regulations for their preservation and maintenance, as provided by ICOM regulations, so they are in free and progressive deterioration".
The regional secretary has stated that this measure "is not against a person" but "against a management and an administration" that they consider "defective" when "serious non-compliance" in labor and administrative matters is detected.
Añó has also reported that his department will assume the management of the consortium "on an interim basis" and a position of artistic direction will be called: "We consider that cultural institutions are much better managed if all management does not fall on the same person", and someone "of recognized prestige" will be sought.
Regarding the programming of the Center Cultural del Carme de València, he indicated that what was planned will be maintained and work will be done to "create a new project open to everyone" and that is committed to a "quality" culture.
Añó wanted to "send a message of tranquility. Everything will continue as it was, simply that the people who are going to be in charge are going to be different for the reasons" that he explained.