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The provincial authorities in the Historical Territory of Bizkaia have always shown particular concern for the proper management of the area's important cultural heritage.

In 2009 the Department of Culture of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia sought the assistance of one of the world's most prestigious cultural advisory organisations in preparing a diagnosis of the situation as regards public knowledge of the cultural heritage of Bizkaia and drawing up a proposal for future action in this regard.

An analysis was conducted of the infrastructures in place for publicising the cultural heritage of Bizkaia (the full range of museums, including those fully or partly owned by the provincial authorities, private museums subsidised by the Provincial Council that seek to disseminate the local cultural heritage, cutting-edge art and even the internal structure of the Provincial Department of Culture in terms of cultural heritage management). This analysis was then filtered through benchmarking of management structures. The conclusion drawn was that there was a need for a management unit that could bring together all the organisations and infrastructures in Bizkaia, with a view to ensuring that they were managed efficiently and that maximum use was made of all investments in them by the Provincial Council.

On this basis, setting up a Single Management Unit in Bizkaia was seen as offering the Provincial Council the following opportunities: Diputación Foral de Bizkaia:

  • Designing and setting up a museum policy for the province overall showcasing the distinctive nature of Bizkaia.
  • Developing synergies with areas such as youth, education and tourism, by coordinating the related cultural outreach policies in a centralised manner
  • To establish a single, clearly-defined identity for all the museums with which the Provincial Council is involved (and/ or an associated cultural framework).
  • Designing a multi-annual or annual subsidy policy that consolidates and complements the strategic lines of actions in museums defined for the Territory.
  • Creating a defined identity for all the museums in which you participate Diputación Foral de Bizkaia (and/or associated cultural framework).
  • To set up sectoral working panels for development or innovation in shared issues.
  • To manage the funding earmarked efficiently.
  • To enable investment requirements for the area as a whole to be planned ahead.
  • To provide central purchasing services - with the power to negotiate prices – for common services such as maintenance, security, cleaning, supplies, advertising, etc.
  • To provide a single interlocutor for other institutions and stakeholders such as the Basque Government, enabling a common position to be established for all the museums in which the Council is involved.



Accordingly, a publicly-owned company answerable to the Provincial Council was set up under Provincial Regulation 5/2010 of December 22, 2010, with the name BizkaiKOA.

BizkaiKOA is to be autonomous in the management of its functions, within limits, and must in all cases act with a view to ensuring public interest, meeting the cultural needs of society in Bizkaia and promoting knowledge and dissemination of the historical and cultural legacy of Bizkaia in all its manifestations. To that end it is to conduct such activities and programmes as may be deemed necessary to ensure that the said legacy is passed down to future generations in good condition.

BizkaiKOA is to facilitate the dissemination of the cultural heritage of Bizkaia, through awareness and social promotion actions and co-ordinated management based on the efficient drawdown of resources, and to preserve, conserve, safeguard, publicise and promote that heritage for future generations.

The objectives of BizkaiKOA thus include strategic planning, co-ordinated management, efficient monitoring, checking and inspection of those infrastructures for spreading the cultural heritage of Bizkaia which are owned entirely or in part by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, and the efficient monitoring and checking of the remaining infrastructures of the same type located in Bizkaia.

Its offices are at Calle María Díaz de Haro 11 in Bilbao.



To attain the aforesaid objectives, BizkaiKOA is to carry out the following functions:

  1. Proposal and management of actions aimed at helping to publicise the cultural heritage of Bizkaia, the monitoring of those actions and the taking of corrective measures if necessary.
  2. All-round management of museums owned by the provincial authorities (currently the Museo Euskalherria in Gernika, Museo Arrantzale in Bermeo, Ferrería del Pobal in Muskiz and Bizkaiko Arkeologi Museoa (BAM) in Bilbao).
  3. All-round management of provincially-owned cultural infrastructures relevant to the publicising of the cultural heritage of Bizkaia: the caves of Santimamiñe, the interpretation centre in Forua, the Bosque Animado de Oma ['painted wood of Oma'], Muñatones castle, the Parque de Europa de los Pueblos ['Park of the Europe of the Peoples'] in Gernika, etc
  4. Promotion of infrastructures for disseminating cultural heritage in Bizkaia, including those partly owned by the provincial authorities and those owned wholly by private and/or non-provincial organisations.
  5. All-round management of the Rekalde exhibition venue in Bilbao, owned by the provincial authorities.



  1. Governing Bodies

    The governing and administrative bodies of the provincial-council-owned company BizkaiKOA are:

    1. The Chair.
      The Chair of BizkaiKOA is the current Provincial Deputy of Basque Language, Culture, and Sports, Leixuri Arrizabalaga Arruza.
    2. Deputy Chair.
      This post is held by the current Cultural Affairs Director, Begoña de Ibarra Zuazo.
    3. Board of Directors:
      The directors of the company are:
      • Asier Haza del Cerro, Head of General Services of the Basque and Culture Department.
      • Director General of Good Governance, Citizen Care, and Digital Services, Ohiane Agirregoitia Martínez.
      • Aitor Cobo Presilla, Head of the Treasury Department of the Provincial Council.
    4. Management.
      The general manager of the company is Asier Madarieta Juaristi.
      He holds a degree in History from the University of Deusto. From June 1, 2008 up to the time when he took this post he was Director of the Museum of Art Reproductions in Bilbao. He was previously employed by the cultural services company ALAIKI as a project co-ordinator tasked with providing advisory services on museum management and promotion. He has given various seminars and courses on exhibition design and implementation.
      The remit of the general manager covers:
      • management of BizkaiKOA and its employees.
      • Implementation, control and monitoring of the general action plans of BizkaiKOA.
      • Signing of such contracts, agreements, protocols and other binding legal documents as may be deemed appropriate to secure the operations of BizkaiKOA, except for those allocated to other bodies, plus any additional tasks allocated to him.
      • Approval of expenses and ordering of payments made and collected.
      • Management and monitoring of any income provided from public and private sources.
  2. Day-to-day Operational Bodies

    BizkaiKOA is structured in two parts: common services and projects.

    The common services section comprises five directorates:

    • Communication & Dissemination.
    • Education & Learning.
    • Management & Maintenance.
    • Finance.
    • Human Resources.

    The company is currently handling the following projects:

    • The "Arrantzaleen Museoa" in Bermeo
    • The Museo del Euskal Herria ["Museum of the Basque Country"] in Gernika.
    • The Archaeological Museum in Bilbao.
    • The "Txakolingunea" in Bakio
    • La Encartada factory-Museum in Balmaseda.
    • The Museo-Ferreria del Pobal ["Museum and Ironworks"] in Muskiz.
    • The Roman archaeological site in Forua.
    • The caves of Santimamiñe in Kortezubi.
    • The Bosque Animado de Oma ["Painted Wood"] in Kortezubi.
    • The Parque Europa de los Pueblos ["Park of the Europe of the Peoples"] in Gernika.
    • The Castle of Muñatones in Muskiz.
    • The Ondare exhibition hall in Bilbao.
    • The Rekalde exhibition hall in Bilbao.
    • The "Arrolagunea".
  3. Advisory Bodies

    1. Advisory Council
      The remit of this council is to provide the Board of Directors with support and advice on specific issues within the remit of the organisation that require specialist consideration or treatment.
      It is currently being set up, and is to include representatives of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, mayors of municipalities containing museums and venues attached to BizkaiKOA, relevant private organisations and personages from the world of culture.



The organisation's funding comes from:

  1. Annual allocations from the General Budget of the Historical Territory of Bizkaia, channelled via the Provincial Department of Culture.
  2. Subsidies, contributions, donations and bequests from individuals and publicly and privately owned corporate bodies.
  3. The assets and securities that make up its equity and the interest and other yields obtained on those assets.
  4. Revenue from activities.
  5. Other sources of revenue and equity-related or financial resources that they may have.

BizkaiKOA has its own treasury account, through which all the funds received by the organisation are managed.


© Bizkaikoa, F.E.E.P. · Mª Díaz de Haro kalea, 11 · Email: bizkaikoa@bizkaia.eus ·