“Salazar museum opens in May despite congressional disapproval

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The first phase of the “Salazar Museum” will be inaugurated at the end of May, despite the disapproval of the Parliament and the controversy it has caused.

The City Council of Santa Comba Dão will inaugurate the controversial Interpretive Center and Museum of the New State in the former Salazar School-Canteen, in Vimieiro, where the former dictator was born. It will open at the end of May, according to Expresso, as a “pre-project”.

The intention to open the so-called “Salazar Museum” was already signaled five years ago. At that time, the case went all the way to the courts and the Portuguese Parliament, but the city council decided to go ahead with the project anyway.

In 2019, the Parliament condemned the creation of the museum dedicated to Salazar, considering it an “affront to democracy” and an “insult to the memory of the victims of the dictatorship.” The PSD and CDS abstained, but the leftist majority – PS, BE, PCP and PEV – approved the vote presented by the PCP.

Despite Parliament’s rejection, construction began in August of this year. It was expected that the museum would open its doors after the summer, but with the arrival of the pandemic, everything was delayed. Now, the mayor of Santa Comba Dão, Leonel Gouveia, points out that the project will start at the end of May this year.

To the Weekly, the mayor stresses that this is still “phase 1” of the project, which will serve as “consultation” of the community to reach the “final model”. The municipality is still “looking for funding” for a more advanced phase of the project.

“It will be organized by decades and themes, with those that were the most important moments of the Estado Novo, and it is planned to happen in four years”, says the mayor of Santa Comba Dão about the second phase of the project.

Leonel Gouveia considers the museum “absolutely necessary” to “interpret the facts” and “understand the virtues of democracy.

The partnership with the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the 20th Century (CEIS20) of the University of Coimbra also failed. Leonel Gouveia assures that the agreement failed due to “internal problems” of CEIS20 and not because of the controversy generated around the museum.

Source: https://zap.aeiou.pt/museu-salazar-abre-em-maio-525336

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