The Minister of Culture announced today in Mafra that the National Music Museum will be installed entirely in the National Palace of Mafra, where it should open to the public in 2021, changing the model announced by its predecessor.
Graça Fonseca replied that “the Music Museum will not be divided into two different spaces”, as former Minister Luís Filipe Castro Mendes had announced, and will be all concentrated in the north wing of the Palace.
“The National Museum of Music for 25 years is installed in a Metro station in Lisbon, and finally we think it found its place in Mafra, for the strong connection to music,” said the official.
The Minister of Culture spoke to journalists at the end of the signing of a partnership agreement between the Municipality of Mafra and the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage for the installation of the National Music Museum in Mafra, Lisbon district.
The investment is three million euros, with one million euros financed by the municipality.
The Minister of Culture said that the transfer of the museum to Mafra “makes perfect sense“, due to Mafra’s historical link to music, the need to decentralize Culture and the synergies that can be created there, “complementing” the cultural offer of the monument , composed of six historical organs and one of the richest libraries in the country.
Graça Fonseca explained that the project will be developed during this year and hopes that in 2020 it will be possible to start the work until the beginning of 2021 to open the museum to the public in that village.
The mayor, Hélder Sousa Silva, launched the challenge to the government to, like other partnerships with the Government, to be the municipality to elaborate the project, launch the public tender and supervise the works.
Graça Fonseca accepted the partnership, for which it will be necessary to establish a new agreement.
“The installation of the National Museum of Music represents an opportunity to inscribe this territory in the dynamics of cultural tourism,” said the mayor.
The move to Mafra, 40 kilometres from Lisbon, has been the target of criticism from different sectors.
The Museum, currently installed at the Metropolitan Station of Alto dos Moinhos in Lisbon, has one of the richest collections of musical instruments in Europe, with a collection composed of a thousand instruments from the 16th to the 20th centuries, of erudite and popular tradition.
Also part of the museum is several documentary spoils and phonographic and iconographic collections of the highest relief.
Among the instruments classified as National Treasure are the Taskin carnations, from 1782, recently restored, and the Antunes, from 1758.
The piano Boisselot, which the composer and pianist Franz Liszt brought to Lisbon in 1845, and the cello by Antonio Stradivari, who belonged to King D. Luis, are other treasures of the museum.
Henry Lockey Hill’s cello, Guilhermina Suggia, Joaquim José Galrão’s violins and cellos, the eighteenth-century harpsichords of the Lisbon and Porto workshops are other highlights of the collection, as well as the rare English corns Grenser and Grundman & Floth, from the late eighteenth century , and the flutes of Ernesto Frederico Haupt, from the mid-nineteenth century, which are unique examples.