Aristides de Sousa Mendes Museum opens on July 19th

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The Aristides de Sousa Mendes Museum in Carregal do Sal will be inaugurated on July 19, at a ceremony to be presided over by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, sent me a letter telling me that, unless there is an extraordinary international event, he would be happy to preside over the opening ceremony of this museum,” announced the Mayor of Carregal do Sal, Paulo Catalino Ferraz.

The mayor of Carregal do Sal, in the district of Viseu, also confirmed that the inauguration will take place on July 19, the anniversary of the birth of Aristides de Sousa Mendes (1885).

“We had a very difficult task, which was to finish the physical works and the museum side in time to open for the anniversary. But we managed to do it and we already have the confirmation and the guarantee that it will be on July 19,” he said.

Paulo Catalino Ferraz assumes that it will be a “very important day” for the municipality and that he also hopes to have “the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and other national entities and those from other countries, where the consul has been”.

“The gardens, which we had planned to open later, will also be inaugurated that day and we will be able to inaugurate both spaces on the same day, which makes us very happy and is a fitting tribute to Aristides de Sousa Mendes,” said the mayor.

The 19th will also be marked by the performance of the Orquestra Clássica do Centro, in the gardens of Casa do Passal, which “will also feature many voices as soloists, some of them of national prominence”.

The day before, on July 18, at the reception for the family of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and the descendants of the refugees, Contracanto will present the musical it made in homage to the diplomat, “Aristides”.

The president said that from the 20th the museum will be open to the public and that “work is already underway with the school groups to have students visit the museum to learn about and learn from the example” of the consul, who was born in Cabanas de Viriato, in Carregal do Sal.

“The idea is to work on this initiative with all the schools in the country and also with schools in the cities where our consul has visited, particularly in Europe, such as France and Luxembourg, bearing in mind that it is much more difficult to achieve this with cities in Brazil or Canada,” he added.

The museum, which will have a permanent exhibition and two rooms for temporary exhibitions, will host “once or twice a year exhibitions from museums in the cities where Aristides [de Sousa Mendes] passed through, as well as those linked to the theme of the Holocaust”.

Regarding the director of the new museum, Paulo Catalino Ferraz didn’t want to reveal it, “since the person still has professional ties to another institution, but is someone with a very good reputation in the field of museology”.

The inauguration coincides with the municipality’s festivities, which this year will return “to the old nine-day model”, between July 14 and 22.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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