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Cable sobre la reunión con González Sinde sobre la reclamación del 'pissarro'

El embajador de EE UU en España dice que ha informado a la responsable de Cultura de que el reclamante del 'pissarro' ha recurrido a los tribunales estadounidenses

ID: 248666
Date: 2010-02-12 15:25:00
Origin: 10MADRID174
Source: Embassy Madrid
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Dunno: 09MADRID1161 10BARCELONA15
Destination: VZCZCXRO2664
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHMD #0174/01 0431525
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121525Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1928
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 4356
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MADRID 000174

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE, EUR/OHI, EEB/TPP/IPE, L/PD
STATE ALSO FOR ECA AND EUR/PPD (L.MCMANIS)
STATE PASS USTR FOR D.WEINER AND J.GROVES
STATE ALSO PASS U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE FOR M.WOODS AND
M.PALLANTE
COMMERCE FOR 4212/DON CALVERT
COMMERCE ALSO FOR USTPO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD, KIPR, PGOV, PREL, PHUM, SCUL, SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: AMBASSADOR'S MEETING WITH MINISTER OF
CULTURE ANGELES GONZALEZ-SINDE

REF: A. BARCELONA 15
B. 09 MADRID 1161

MADRID 00000174 001.3 OF 003


SUMMARY:

1. (SBU) Ambassador met February 10 with Minister of Culture
Angeles Gonzalez Sinde to discuss bilateral cooperation on
cultural issues, intellectual property rights and draft
legislation that would enhance the government's ability to
combat digital piracy, and the Holocaust-related claim by
AMCIT Claude Cassirer on a State-owned painting in Madrid's
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. The Minister reiterated the
government's request that the Embassy continue to engage with
the political opposition on draft legislation for shutting
down pirate websites. With respect to the Cassirer claim,
Ministry officials says the Spanish state is prohibited from
giving away property or offering compensation, but the
Ambassador asked the Minister to look at some different
options to resolve the matter in a more satisfactory fashion.
End Summary.

CULTURAL COOPERATION

2. (U) The Minister was accompanied by her Chief of Staff,
Javier Bonilla, and Director General (DG) for Cultural Policy
and Industries Guillermo Corral van Damme. Ambassador
Solomont began by listing the various cultural events he has
participated in since his recent arrival. The Ambassador
also mentioned the partnership between the Boston-based
Berklee School of Music and Spain's General Society of
Authors and Publishers (SGAE) in developing a cultural center
and music university in Valencia, which he characterized as
an "ambitious project." The Ambassador also thanked the
Minister for her work on the Fulbright grantee selection
boards and her speech at the November 2009 event celebrating
the 50th anniversary of the first Spanish grants awarded
under the program. Finally, he mentioned that the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts plans to lend a John Singer Sargent
painting, which was influenced by the Velazquez masterpiece
"Las Meninas," to the Prado, and he hoped the Minister could
attend a reception for the Boston delegation in March.

IPR PROTECTION AND ANTI-PIRACY MEASURES

3. (SBU) Ambassador Solomont said he had heard a great deal
about Spain's Internet piracy problem, from MPAA CEO Glickman
and others, and asked where things stand with the
government's legislative proposal (ref B) on shutting down or
blocking pirate websites. Minister Gonzalez-Sinde replied
that everything the government tries to do in this area is
big news, since attempts to regulate Internet activity are of
intense interest to young people, the media, and companies
like Google. The government's proposal, she said, is quite
reasonable and even modest. The government has pledged not
to move aggressively against citizens and individual users as
has been proposed in France and the UK, but its initiative is
nonetheless controversial. Many politicians, she averred,
have little information or understanding of the issue. Even
those who recognize the damage that Internet piracy does to
cultural industries have not been helpful.

4. (SBU) At the same time, the Minister said there has been a
lot of progress and an open public debate on the issues
surrounding Internet piracy since she came into office last
April. There are still populist demands for "free culture"
on the Internet, but these are being taken less seriously in
the media. The Internet is shaking up traditional modes of
cultural distribution, she said. Increased use of the e-book
is sensitizing authors and influential media owners to the
piracy problem.

5. (SBU) The Congressional debate over the government's draft
law will be complicated, and this is where the Minister said
the Ambassador can help. The Government believes it is
making progress with Deputies from the ruling Spanish
Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), but is concerned about the
opposition Populist Party (PP). The Ambassador noted he had
raised the issue in his initial meeting with PP leader
Mariano Rajoy and had told him how important the issue is to
the USG and private industry. Gonzalez-Sinde pointed out
that if the government does not solve this problem now, it

MADRID 00000174 002.3 OF 003


could become an issue in the next presidential campaign.
Should the PP come back to power, it will have to deal with
this issue, because the current situation is unsustainable
over time. (Comment: As reported septel, DG Corral told
econoffs recently that the government faces opposition from
some members of the ruling party, and he asked us to make our
views known to legislators from the regional Convergencia i
Unio (Cataluna) and Partido Nacional Vasco (Basque Country)
blocs.)

6. (SBU) Ambassador said the USG wants to see the legislation
move forward in Congress and not be weakened in the amendment
process. He also noted that the music industry in particular
does not believe the government's proposal will solve the
problem, to which the Minister replied that the Government
has committed to trying this approach first, and if it
doesn't prove effective, they will come back with additional
and perhaps stronger measures. The music industry is
important to Spain, she said, because it helps promote the
Spanish language in Latin America and also in the United
States.

7. (U) On another issue, the Minister raised the draft law
being considered by the Catalan regional legislature that
would require that foreign films be dubbed or subtitled into
the Catalan language (ref A). She placed the issue in the
context of requirements that television networks finance and
broadcast Spanish and European films, and said it was also
related to the transition of televisions and films from
analog to digital format. She said the Catalan regional
government (Generalitat) is responding to public interest in
promoting the language and sees these other initiatives as
unnatural and unbalanced. It is trying to push back, but its
attempt to require that more films be shown in Catalan is
risky, as major studios and distributors oppose it. So do
movie house owners, who cite low demand because, in their
experience, even Catalan speakers prefer to see movies in
Spanish. Gonzalez-Sinde was not certain whether the regional
Parliament would pass the law in its current session.

CASSIRER CLAIM

8. (SBU) The Ambassador raised the claim of AMCIT Claude
Cassirer to a Camille Pissarro painting that is currently
part of the Thyssen Museum's permanent collection. The
Ambassador noted that Spain had participated in the 1998
Washington Conference on Nazi Confiscated Art and in last
year's Prague Conference. Spain had signed the Declarations
of Principles but was in the position of possessing a
painting that the Nazis had forced its original owner to
sell. He cited a German government letter stating that the
compensation the owner had received from Germany for the
painting's original disappearance did not extinguish the
family's claim to restitution or compensation. Ambassador
hoped the GOS would facilitate face-to-face negotiations on
compensation, as opposed to "moral recognition."
Acknowledging that the claimant has a lawsuit against Spain
and the Thyssen Foundation before the 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals, Ambassador asked what prevented the GOS from playing
a stronger hand outside the legal process.

9. (SBU) Minister Gonzalez-Sinde replied that lawyers for the
MFA and the Museum have advised that Spain is legally barred
from returning the painting or paying compensation. She
offered to speak again to FM Moratinos to see if anything can
be done. DG Corral pointed out that Spain had acquired the
painting legally and in good faith and had no involvement in
the transaction in which a Nazi art dealer coerced the
painting from its owner. The Thyssen Foundation manages the
collection that includes the painting, but the State owns it.
There is no legal way for the State to surrender its
property absent a judicial order, he said, and the government
could be sued if it tried. The State is legally bound to
protect its property, even at times against its own will.

10. (SBU) Spain is sensitive to the family's claim, Corral
said, but does not believe it can legally negotiate
compensation. It might, however, be able to make gestures to
the family and to the Los Angeles Jewish community. The
government could, for example, organize and fund travel to
Spain and cultural exchanges to promote mutual understanding

MADRID 00000174 003.3 OF 003


and appreciation while giving due recognition to the Cassirer
family.

11. (SBU) Ambassador suggested that the GOS try to come up
with creative solutions. At the same time, he undertook to
convey the GOS concerns to Cassirer's attorneys and to ask
them to offer a series of options for the government to
consider. If there appear to be viable options, they could
serve as a basis for direct negotiations. Post will follow
up with EUR/OHI.

SOLOMONT