On the morning of 13th February, Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira and Nuno Faria, Artistic Director of the City Museum held a conference at Almeida Garrett Gallery to announce the newly established City Museum. Later that day, citizens were summoned to join energies and help build this cultural platform in The Invicta. Porto was not found wanting!
Like Metro lines extend and expand, connecting at different stations and reaching the community in cities, so does the City Museum evolves and is established within that very city, as a dynamic cultural platform that links 16 stations, from the Pasteleira Park till the Quinta da Bonjóia, in Campanhã.
The concept of the City Museum has evolved, it was remade and structured to build and deliver a "city-wide" feel of Porto, as mentioned by Nuno Faria, the artistic director of the project. This was the challenge that Mayor Rui Moreira had launched last March.
The City Museum comprises 16 spaces within five larges axis, which enable visitors to map countless routes and paths, as far as programming is concerned. And it will have its "General Admission Ticket", as highlighted by Rui Moreira.
Also, the new identity featured by the City Museum boosts both participation and resources, in order to reorganise the repository of the history and culture of Porto, as explained by Nuno Faria, recalling that the title "City Museum" was for the first time used in 1989; then, in 2001, and finally in 2013, under "the leadership of Paulo Cunha e Silva".
In the meantime, "important steps were taken to renovate the city cultural facilities, such as Rivoli, the Municipal Gallery and the Cultura", asserted Rui Moreira. The Mayor of Porto also explained that while some spaces were rehabilitated, like the old reservoir in Pasteleira, others were built from scratch, namely the Museu do Vinho do Porto, in Ribeira.
The same way a city is forever changing and being re-created, so is the City Museum, as part of an ongoing creative process", stressed Rui Moreira.
In total, the City Museum gathers 16 types of museum, extending through the city, "it starts at the Pasteleira Reservoir and it ends up at Quinta da Bonjóia", affirmed Nuno Faria.
They are mapped as follows: 1) Reservoir; 2) Casa Marta Ortigão Sampaio; 3) Casa Tait; 4) Extension of the Romanticism; 5) Entre Quintas; 6) Banco de Materiais; 7) Rio da Vila; 8) Casa dos 24; 9) Arqueossítio; 10) Casa Guerra Junqueiro; 11) Extensão do Douro; 12) Casa do Infante; 13) Biblioteca Sonora; 14) Ateliê António Carneiro; 15) Bonjóia - Extensão Natureza; 16) Extensão Indústria.
Adding to this redesign, there are five axes, linked to themes; i.e., the 16 types of museum integrate the museum network according also to the different ways of interpreting the city: the Sonorous Axe, Nature Axe, Material Axe, Liquid Axe and the Romanticism Axe.
The Biblioteca Sonora," ["Sonorous Library", free translation], which was established in the 1970's "will be the heart of the City Museum", announced Nuno Faria.
During these first months, the Nature Axe will be the driver of the programming, available for consultation via the institutional website of the City Museum. It should be mentioned that the exhibit by Ilda David' "Por trás das árvores há um outro mundo", opens on 14th February at the Gabinete de Desenho da Casa Guerra Junqueiro. Moreover, there will be debate platforms to engage the community on what the City Museum should encompass. The first is scheduled for March.
For now, "the City Museum is running at 80% of its capacity", Mayor Rui Moreira explained. In March, there will be the opening of the "Extensão do Douro" ["Douro Extension", free translation] featuring a new exhibit; the purpose is to offer exhibits to be held at the start of each half year (March and September), as informed by Nuno Faria.
It is estimated that the Reservoir, which hosted the exhibition themed "Douro: an alchemy between air, land and river", from Bordeaux, France, is open to the public business.
"Except for Bonjóia, in need for deep renovation works, it is expected that the City Museum is fully working within the time frame of one year and a half", Mayor Rui Moreira affirmed, also stating that the "Rio da Vila" work is ongoing". "Rio de Vila" is to be an underground museum that will start by São Bento Station and ends up by the São Domingos Square).
Later that day, Rui Moreira and Nuno Faria presented the City Museum to the city at the Almeida Garrett Library, in an event open to everyone.
And indeed the city joined energies to help build the City Museum, in that kind of belief and accord that comes from Porto being a city where discussion and debate are always welcomed, a city that appreciates being informed about what is going on and where leadership embraces, in a very substantial way, citizens' feedback.
The presentation of the City Museum to its city concluded with a concert by Domenico Lancellotti and Tomás Cunha Ferreira, and a DJ set by Sonja Câmara.