Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The University of Alicante and Banco Santander dissolve the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation

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The Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library Foundation it is history. The board of trustees of the institution, meeting today electronically for the first time, has officially given shape to the disappearance of this entity announced a year ago when the Santander bank withdrew from that organism.

The Board of Trustees has approved the termination of the foundation and the distribution of the goods and rights resulting from the liquidation, which means that the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library and the digitization project Impact they stay at the University of Alicante. “We had three major projects at the Foundation, the Virtual Library, whose assets and rights go to the UA; the Vargas Llosa Chair, which passes to the International Foundation for Freedom -constituted to strengthen relations between Latin America, the USA and Spain under the sign of freedom-, also chaired by Vargas Llosa; and the Impact Center, which happens to be managed by the UA General Foundation “, as assured by the rector of the University of Alicante and member of the patronage, Manuel Palomar.

The rector considers this step a good solution, since “we recovered the Virtual Library, which will be managed entirely by the UA, as when it was founded. I believe that this distribution has been adequate because we will continue to manage the BVMC and the Impact with all that it entails” .

As for the economic issue, Palomar recalled that the Impact Center is subsidized through European funds and the library is assumed by the UA. “Not with the full cost that it had because we cannot, but not having the Foundation in Madrid lightens many costs, so we will continue with the 600,000 euros that we put in annually. ”

The settlement process is now open. All the documentation is sent to the Protectorate, which must approve the extinction of any foundation, something that can take three or four months. “We have already approved the balance sheet, the annual accounts and that’s it, we consider it dissolved.”

A “non-priority” project

The BVMC Foundation, chaired by the Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, was suffering the withdrawal of contributions by the employers – among which are the Botín Foundation, various ministries, the Cervantes Institute and the Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation – as a result of the crisis, leaving this body, created in 2000, in hands of the University of Alicante and the financial institution, which two years ago stopped considering it a “priority” project and gradually reduced the amount allocated to the foundation, marking the final date of its 2020 exit.

This decision led the University of Alicante to assume the management of this center, led by Jesus Pradells; dissolve the company Digital Workshop, created in 2004 to provide technical support to the BVMC, and incorporate the majority of the 25 workers as its own.

The budget managed by the Virtual Library Foundation last year, carried over from 2018, exceeded one million euros. Of these, Santander contributed 600,000 euros, the same amount as the University of Alicante.

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