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The new national museum will work inside a vault with high security, inside the now finished building, but totally separated from the two lateral towers, created to increase the accessibility of the Palácio da Ajuda.
The inauguration of the new wing, whose project was launched four years ago, was attended by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the prime minister, António Costa, the mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, the minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, and the director of the palace, José Alberto Ribeiro, among other individuals. The new building, in the west wing of the palace, has a glass structure with vertical slats, which lets in the light inside, and houses, on the third and fourth floors, a vault 40 meters long, ten wide and ten high that it will receive, in 72 showcases divided into 11 centers.
In its contemporary architecture with limestone, the light of the Belém area, this project aimed to house the future Royal Treasure Museum, which will open to the public in November this year, with a collection of jewelry and other pieces belonging to the royal family Portuguese, explaining its origin and historical path.
On the third and fourth floors, where the vault is located – clad in expanded aluminum painted in gold – will be displayed, inside, the jewels and other pieces of the royal treasure on display in the windows with high-security bulletproof glass.
The first nucleus of the exhibition will be called “Brazil’s Gold and Diamonds”, with a sample of rough examples of the metals and gems that symbolize two important monopolies of the Portuguese crown, the extraction of gold and diamonds, in Brazil, and, in the second core will be a selection of royal coins and medals.
In the third nucleus, the jewels that make up the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda’s collection are presented, coming from the old jewelery belonging to the crown, that is, from the State, and the jewels from the old private collections of different members of the royal family.
The fourth nucleus is dedicated to the honorary orders and brings together a unique group at national level, a centuries-old testimony of the Portuguese court’s international relations and the historical importance of these instruments of sovereignty and diplomacy, while the fifth nucleus will present the “Regal Insignia: Ritual Objects of the Monarchy”.
In the sixth nucleus there will be objects for civil use in carved silver from different production centers, with emphasis on an expressive set – the “Crown Apparatus Silver” – with 16th-century Portuguese sages and silverware, and in the seventh nucleus, which refers to the former private collections of King Ferdinand II and his son, Luís I, will be other pieces of silver for civil use.
The eighth nucleus will be dedicated to “Diplomatic Offerings”, made over the centuries, the ninth nucleus will expose means of religious ceremonies, referring in particular to the Royal Chapel.
The tenth nucleus is dedicated to the “Bixela Germain”, so designated because it was commissioned to the goldsmith François-Thomas Germain (1726-1791) after the 1755 earthquake, consisting of a reference set of eighteenth-century French jewelery, internationally, for its quality and rarity.
In the last nucleus, there will be the “Viagens do Tesouro Real”, where the museum intends to make known the mobility of the treasure that used to be with the king.