Twenty-five years on from the idea to open cultural institutions in Barcelona's Raval district, and ten years since they opened their doors, it is now time to take stock of the MACBA (Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art) and the CCCB (Barcelona's Contemporary Culture Centre).
Why were two important cultural institutions, the MACBA and the CCCB, opened in the Raval, a district in the old town with serious social problems? How did a vague idea based on traditional models for art museums and multidisciplinary centres become two unique models and points of reference both locally and internationally? The explanation that we have is that it went from a project based on cultural regeneration to models for unique cultural institutions that are the launch pad for what we call cultural government.
This article is the result of research into the cultural policy system in Catalonia and the transformation of the Raval district, which has led to the PhD thesis entitled "A new paradigm for cultural policy. The case study of Barcelona" under the supervision of Arturo Rodríguez Morató (UB) and Pierre-Michel Menger (EHESS).