The Douro Museum today opened to the public a new circuit that takes visitors to the “other side”, revealing the unfamiliar backstage as the archive, the restoration and conservation workshops of the institution, based in Régua.
The Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, stressed that the new circuit “The other side Museum” is a “creative and important” initiative that will help attract visitors to this museum of territory.
The director of the Douro Museum, Fernando Seara, said the goal is to give visibility to hitherto unknown areas and, at the same time, to give recognition to the people who work there.
Thus, after visiting the permanent exhibition “Douro: Matéria e Espírito”, the visitors are challenged to go backstage, through the purge room, where the documents are cleaned, the quarantine room where disinfestation of objects is carried out and documents, the conservation room and the restoration workshop.
“It is possible to see the various levels of intervention that we do on objects before they are exposed and even those that are exposed often come here for preventive conservation actions and cleanings,” explained museum conservation curator Carlos Mota.
There you can find books, paintings, sculptures, carving, furniture, metal or ethnographic objects.
“They can see how we are intervening in them. It is a new experience for the visitor,” he said.
Carlos Mota said that it is intended to contribute to the preservation of the region’s heritage and the conservation of objects at risk.
In this space have already recovered objects such as the tabernacle of Caldas de Moledo, the loom of Carrazeda de Ansiães or the fiddle instrument chuleira from Freixo de Espada to Cinta.
Also, today was presented the project “Most accessible museum” that is in the final phase and wants to make the institution “accessible to all visitors”.
The goal is to improve the living conditions of people with special needs through tools such as sign language videos for the deaf, braille content for the blind and audio guides in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
“To arrive, to see, to know, to feel, to smell, to touch, is now much more available to everyone who visits us,” said director Fernando Seara.
The headquarters of the Douro Museum was inaugurated ten years ago.
The director said that the headquarters was visited by 47,000 people in 2018, who paid for the ticket, and pointed out that the number of visitors has increased in recent years.
The exhibits that circulated around the territory were seen by about 130,000 people.
The museum has four museological centres and has promoted the creation of the Douro Museum Network that covers 48 public and private spaces.