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In 2010 a Strategic Plan for State Museums was launched.


Classified Heritage Restoration Programme supported by 1% of public works contracts.

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Portugal/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies

Heritage policy is conducted by the Institute for the Management of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (IGESPAR) and the Museums and Conservation Institute (IMC). With the new organic structure of the Ministry of Culture (see also  chapter 1, chapter 3.1 and chapter 7.1 regarding PRACE), passed in 2006, both were reinforced in their attributes and competences.

Adding to its core and already established competences related to archaeological and historical cultural heritage, IGESPAR then acquired new competences regarding national classified monuments and buildings accreditation and administration formerly held by the Public Works Ministry.

Following that new institutional framework, different measures were put in place between 2008 and 2010, such as the Heritage Risk Chart, identifying restoration works needed in major national heritage sites and monuments. This chart was also instrumental in establishing the Classified Heritage Restoration Programme. With this programme, the Ministry of Culture received "in kind donations" - technical services - from infrastructure companies to be allocated to major heritage sites' restoration works, up to 1% of the amount of public works contracts established with those companies. Those donations were granted in return a cultural merit credit instrumental to obtain patronage fiscal benefits.

Following the same orientation, the Cultural Heritage Safeguard Fund was also launched in 2009, and heritage laws and regulations passed.

As for IMC, with its new organisational model, it became also responsible for conservation activities, alongside previously held competences, such as the inventory and policy-making regarding intangible cultural heritage, the management of several national palaces and the accreditation of RPM Museums.

Recently, technical and financial support for the improvement of management in museums and better training for museum staff has been given by the Portuguese Network of Museums (RPM created in 2000), working now in the IMC framework.

In 2010 a Strategic Plan for State Museums was launched and new guide-lines were established, including:

  • new models for the management of IMC museums and palaces;
  • direct collaboration with cultural agents, scientific institutions, public and authorities, foundations and other stakeholders;
  • consolidation and sustained growth of the Portuguese Network of Museums;
  • integration of the policy of preservation, study, communication and documentation of collections; and
  • professional qualifications as well as academic and scientific formation of IMC human resources.

For more information, see
European Heritage Network: Country profile Portugal

Chapter published: 03-07-2015

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