The new headquarters of Rio de Janeiro’s Museu do Pontal is now ready. Home to nearly one thousand pieces by more than 300 artists, the museum will be opened to the public on October 9.
At a Thursday (Sep. 30) ceremony held before the inauguration, guests had a chance to visit all six exhibits, dubbed New Airs: Pontal Reinvented, which should inaugurate the museum’s activities. A total of 700 works are expected to be displayed, with some 2 thousand pieces from the museum’s archive as well as major external collections. The long-duration exhibit pays tribute to the museum’s founder and mastermind Jacques Van de Beuque (1922–2000).
The new headquarters were built in a 14 thousand m² plot with 10 thousand m² of green area, where dozens of thousands of saplings of 73 species native to Brazil. At the museum, visitors will be given a chance to appreciate the open vista to a section of the mountain range known as the Sleeping Giant. The project, which boasts 2.6 thousand m³ of constructed area, took sustainability into account and is inundation-proof.
The former museum space, in the region known as Pontal, in the Recreio dos Bandeirantes district, in Western Rio de Janeiro, had suffered with inundations for ten years, which posed a major threat to the archive. The funds for the construction of new facilities stemmed from collective efforts including donations from over a thousand people and the participation of Brazil’s National Economic and Social Development Bank BNDES, as well as private cultural institutes. It was also benefited by the federal government’s Law for Incentive to Culture and the support from the Brazilian Museums Institute (Ibram) and Rio’s city government.
“It’s an amazing place. The museum’s history is important to the city of Rio de Janeiro,” Mayor Eduardo Paes said during the ceremony.
“The history of this museum illustrates a happy case of an initiative that starts as a personal dream and turns into a solid social enterprise. This is a museum that combines the important of its heritage and diversified projects in such fields as education, research, awareness building, and conservation,” said Angela Mascelani, curator and director at Museu do Pontal.
“It is fantastic to have all the archive in safety, with nearly 10 thousand works under a structure specially developed for its demands and attributes. But the challenges were so many that we often asked ourselves why we kept going. The answer was the importance of continuing to contribute to make this and coming generations cherish Brazil’s artistic and cultural diversity,” Museu do Pontal Executive Lucas Van de Beuque pointed out.
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