Céline Mülich: “Barcelona Museum scene is unique”

Céline Mülich is a German professional photographer and historian who has recently created the Barcelona Museum webpage. After working for six years in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, she decided to move to Catalonia to start this new project, whose aim is to bring closer the different museums that can be found in the city of Barcelona to the German visitors and to any people interested in Catalan art. She strongly believes that Art and History must have a vital space in our society and that we should all promote culture (even among youngsters!).

Age: 31 years old

Profession: self-employed: I have two websites and I am doing some freelance work

Languages: German, French, English and… I’m currently learning Spanish! J

The Interview: Céline Mülich is coworking with us in Meet BCN and has become a really good friend of the Ontranslation team. Due to our busy schedule, we had to make the interview via e-mail, but she was very happy to answer our questions when we told her that we wanted to include her story in our blog.

First of all, to give our readers some background, how would you define yourself?

Well, I would say that I am an Art and Photography lover. I studied what I am passionate about and therefore I enjoy working in this field. In private situations, I am open minded and interested in learning new things (new cultures like Catalan traditions, for instance). For that reason, I also love to travel – there is so much to explore!

We know you studied the degree of History, as well as History of Art,at theJustus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, in Germany. What exactly made you take this decision? When did your interest about History and Art start?

Actually, there were a few moments… I remember, when I was 13 years old and spending holidays with my parents in Avignon, there was an exhibition about Picasso. I think this was my first memory of visiting a museum and I loved what I saw. I told all my classmates about it. So I think it’s fair to say that Spanish art inspired me very early in my life!

Another reason for my choice was my school History teacher. He was so crazy and his classes were very funny and interesting. As I made the decision to study History, as well as History of Art, and I told my teacher about it, he replied straightforwardly: “Then you have to marry a rich man!”. So I knew that it would be hard to get a job and, if I got one, I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to make big money with it. It was a heart decision!

In the end everything worked out really great: I got a job in the Städel Museum (the biggest museum in Frankfurt), where I was working for 6 years. I started as an intern, promoting afterwards to a deputy department manager position (of the educational department), and then my partner and I decided to move to Barcelona!

Tell us about your new project Barcelona Museum and what you do every day.

I love visiting museums and, as we came here, I visited every week a new museum which I didn’t know. Only a few museums are shown in travel guides or other Internet platforms, but I realised that there are more than 40 museums in Barcelona.

This gave me the idea to present the entire range of Barcelona’s museums in one single website: Barcelona Museum. And as I had worked in a museum, I knew a bit about the needs of the visitors.

In this moment I am focusing on German tourists. For that reason the website is only in German for now. What I usually do is: I contact the museum and tell them about my project. Then I visit them to check the visitor experience and also take some pictures. After that, I write the texts for the site: what the visitor will see, what the history behind the museum is, and finally I give my rating: what I disliked and what I liked the most.

Do you think we, Spaniards, give art the importance it deserves in society?

Definitely! You have over 40 museums in Barcelona! And you do it in a special way. The art museums are, I would say, unique, especially because here in Barcelona you give the Catalan and Spanish art a big expression platform. The MNAC, the MACBA, the MEAM and many other galleries and museums are specialised in your national art. Compared to Germany, I don’t really know a single museum that shows only German artists or only artists from one specific region.

So my answer is: Yes! You give Art a special importance in relationship to your region and your history.

You may know that some people in our country –especially youngsters– consider museums, in general, as an expensive and boring place to go. How would you encourage them to visit these places? How would you try to change this erroneous conception?

Oh, you know, it is the same problem in Germany. Children under the age of 12 are generally interested in coming to museums with their class group or family members. Then suddenly it stops: that’s the teenage-time!

These teens, aged 13 – 24, find it very hard to get into museums. In Germany, we had different projects and special guided tours for youngsters. Sometimes it works. But sometimes it doesn’t. But then, starting with the age of 25, some young adults are changing their opinion again – and they really enjoy the museums.

Have you noticed any differences between dealing with Germans and Spaniards after starting a new life in Barcelona? Does the lifestyle differ very much from one country to the other?

Let me think about it… There are few little differences!

First, for sure the siesta is a bit unusual for me. 😉 We don’t have anything like this in Germany. Or the fact that in August the vast majority of shops and restaurants close for one entire month! We were a bit surprised by that.

I still have to get used to the lunch and dinner time. I got good laughs in Meet BCN because at 12.30, I already get hungry. But I wait until 14.00 in order to eat with the other coworkers! I love how ‘Spaniards’ celebrate eating and their food!

As a professional, have you ever used a translation agency, translator or interpreter?

Not yet. In my old job, we worked mainly in German and my new project Barcelona Museum is too young: only 3 months old.

Can you tell us any linguistic anecdote you’ve experienced in your time here?

I would say that I understand Spanish fairly well, but sometimes, when people ask something to me on the street, I don’t understand them. And then I get sad and start thinking that my Spanish is very bad – until I realise that they were speaking Catalan to me!

About the author

Oscar Nogueras

Es el CEO de Ontranslation y dedica algunos ratos libres a escribir en este blog para compartir sus conocimientos sobre internacionalización, cross-border ecommerce y Traducción SEO. No es para menos, ya que entre su formación cuenta con una licenciatura en filología inglesa, un máster en tradumática, un posgrado en elearning y un MBA. En definitiva, una declaración de intenciones donde la cultura y los idiomas se sirven mezclados, no agitados.

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