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Appointments & departures

Beleaguered Barcelona museum gets a new director

Macba contemporary art space appoints Ferran Barenblit after censorship row

Ferran Barenblit, head of the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M) contemporary art museum in Móstoles near Madrid, has been named the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (Macba).

Barenblit joined CA2M in 2008 where he oversaw exhibitions dedicated to the Mexican artist Teresa Margolles and the UK practitioner Jeremy Deller. He previously ran Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, a contemporary art gallery in Barcelona, from 2002 to 2008. In 2001, he organised an exhibition entitled Irony at the Miró Foundation in Barcelona, which included works by Maurizio Cattelan and Marcel Broodthaers.

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern in London, and the Spanish artist Ignasi Aballí were on the committee which advised on the appointment. The committee was impressed by Barenblit’s “capacity to connect the museum’s practices to the city’s lively urban scene”, said a statement.

In March, the former director of Macba, Bartomeu Marí, resigned in light of a censorship row over a controversial installation on display at the museum, which shows a former Spanish king in a sexual act with a dog. The piece, by the Austrian artist Ines Doujak, is included in the exhibition The Beast and the Sovereign (until 30 August). Two curators at Macba involved in the show, Valentín Roma and Paul B. Preciado, were also dismissed.

Macba, which opened to the public in 1995, is managed by a consortium founded in 1988 whose members include the regional government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, and the Spanish Ministry of Culture. There are around 5,000 works in the collection.