The San Juan Daily Star
PIP senator urges reconsideration of bill that would put Casals assets in private trust
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rican Independence Party Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón says that the island Senate might consider for a second time Senate Bill 717, which would allow the transfer of renowned cellist Pablo Casals’ assets to a private entity under very worrisome terms.
Casals was a Spanish cellist, composer and conductor who lived in Puerto Rico for many years and is regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century and one of the greatest cellists of all time.
The Senate approved the measure without analyzing it in hearings. The House approved the measure with 16 votes against. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture opposes the bill, Santiago Negrón said Thursday.
The measure proposes the creation of the “Pablo Casals Trust” as a private entity to which “all movable property that today includes public and private assets” will be transferred. The Musical Arts Corporation is entrusted with the assets.
“This Trust would be created using a deed whose content is not part of the measure and would be exempt from all taxes, including the sales and use tax,” the senator said. “The Trust, in turn, could transfer what it received to some other institution. The Trust and its members would enjoy immunity from liability and be protected from an injunction to prevent the enforcement of this act or any part thereof.”
Santiago Negrón noted that the reason provided by the administration of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia for the bill is that due to the country’s financial crisis, the government cannot protect the legacy of Pablo Casals.
“This is an opportunity to reconsider the previous hasty action and proceed with the caution that this matter deserves,” she said.