The Zero Museum is the first digital art centre in Portugal and Europe, to be built in Santa Catarina from Fonte do Bispo, Tavira, and is expected to open to the public in 2020, said the chairman of the executive committee.
João Correia Vargues is vice-president of the Lusíada Institute of Culture (ILC) and presides over the Executive Committee of the Zero Museum, which is being installed in the old silos of the Cooperativa Agrícola de Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, a town in the interior of the municipality of Tavira , based on a project that had as a mentor the entrepreneur and former administrator of BCP Paulo Teixeira Pinto, after leaving the bank and moving to reside in the Algarve.
“(The idea) came from the person of Dr. Paulo Teixeira Pinto, who in good time came to live in Santa Catarina and began to use building as a workshop and as a person knowledgeable and linked to culture and the arts, influenced to do something different, had the inspiration, the taste and has been working to transform this set of buildings connected to the cooperative, “said João Correia Vargues.
According to the same source, the goal is that space will “house artists’ homes” where “image, sound and light exhibitions” can be created and the renovation of the old agricultural silos will be financed by about 70% of the operational program CRESCE Algarve2020, a total of 1.9 million euros.
The promoters have already developed “national and international contacts with artists interested in participating in artistic residencies” and work to attract “important artists who may spend two to three months in the region to create a specific work for the place“, which can then be “adapted “to other locations or” roaming exhibitions, “he said.
A network of cultural partners such as the Gulbenkian Foundation or the Culturgest, or institutional ones, has also been created, and the project aims above all to “attract people to the place” and to be “a pole of attraction in the interior” of the Algarve and Tavira, he added.
“And there are artists who have visited us who say that the territory is a source of inspiration and have to return because being here is different than being in a city in terms of creativity,” he said, after a visit by the Secretary of State for Regional Development, inserted in the visit to three projects supported by community funds in São Brás de Alportel and in the interior of the municipality of Tavira.
Secretary of State Maria do Céu Albuquerque said the visit served to “understand how European funds are building regional development” and to get to know this project of the Zero Museum, which she described as “very bold and very innovative” and as part of the “future, because creativity works and puts creativity at the service of a community, involving all actors of the territory.”
“What is going to come here is clearly a distinctive factor for this territory,” said the minister, stressing that the project puts “public funds to support private projects for the development of a region.”
It also allows us to “look to the future and to the new professions, based on new technologies,” a path that Portugal must begin to do, she said.
Jorge Botelho, Mayor of Tavira, considered this project “more than a satisfaction” and considered it a “development factor” that will promote “innovation and creativity” and “attract new publics, people and investments, “to which the local authority joined in rehabilitating” roads, sidewalks “to create an accessibility to the building and create a” future for this land of the Baroque “Algarve.