With the relaxation of some lockdown regulations, most museums re-opened during the week beginning 18 May. Here are a few suggestions.
Museum of Ethnology
The exhibition “Enchanted Places, Heritage Spaces” considers four case studies, Fátima, Mértola, Mouraria (Lisbon) and Sintra, to illustrate the way intricate connections between heritage and religion are shaped in response to cultural, social, and political contexts.
As well as photo and film documentation, the exhibition presents items from the collections of the Mértola Museum, the National Museum of Archaeology, and the Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua (Convent of the Capuchos and National Palace of Sintra), as well as items from private collections.
Fátima: the quintessential site of the Portuguese national Catholic heritage, but also used by other Christian denominations, Muslims, Hindus, and devotees of New Age and Afro-Brazilian religions;
Mértola: a town whose fame was triggered by archaeological studies at the end of the 1970s that revealed Muslim settlements from the 8th century. Its church was adapted from the previous mosque and displays many characteristics of that mosque;
Mouraria: the Lisbon district with a strong Muslim presence, both historical and contemporary, celebrated as a place of religious and cultural richness, where there is a municipal project to build a new mosque.
Sintra: classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1995, has a long tradition of simultaneous religious and secular uses.
More information is available from http://lugaresencantados.dgpc.pt/
Museu de Arte Antiga
For a few more weeks one can look through a Perspex window at the technicians restoring the most famous piece of the museum – the Panéis de São Vicente – which are of interest to the British as they depict Philippa of Lancaster’s children, including Henry the Navigator.
For more information:
Exiles Memorial Centre
The Exiles Memorial Centre (Espaço Memória dos Exílios) in Estoril, featured in our previous Newsletter (No. 5), has also re-opened. The enforced closure has given the Centre time to develop a new exhibition that focuses on the diversity of experiences of those who sought refuge in Cascais during the Second World War. Emphasis is on prioritising the living memory of those who were children in 1940.
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