The weekly Expresso reported that the future of CHPR would be "at risk", because the paintings that were on loan have been "gradually withdrawn", and recalled an alert made in 2020 by the art collector Francisco Capelo, about an "emptying progressive" of the house dedicated to the painter's work.
Asked by Lusa about these alerts, Salvato Teles de Menezes said that, according to the protocol for the creation of the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego and its renovation, until 2029, "although the Cascais Chamber is the owner of the collection, it cannot sell any of its works", initially composed of 535 engravings and drawings, to which the painter herself made more donations, namely 28 prints in 2019.
Paula Rego died on June 8, 2022, at home, surrounded by her children and, on that same day, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, after expressing his regret at the disappearance of the painter, highlighted the importance of the purchase of the artist's works by the Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, asking the State and the private sector to complete this initiative.
In January of this year, Gulbenkian had announced the acquisition of the works ofPaula Rego "O Anjo", from 1998, and "O Bath", from 1960, two of the most emblematic of the painter's career, becoming the private institution with "the largest and most significant collection of the artist, consisting of 37 works", stressed at the time.
Now the Cascais Chamber has announced that this year it will buy two works ofPaula Rego (1935-2022), entitled "Day" and "Night", for the collection of Casa das Histórias, dedicated to the dissemination of the artist's work, revealed sources linked to this entity. Contacted by the Lusa agency, the president of the D. Luís I Foundation, Salvato Teles de Menezes, member of the joint committee responsible for the activity of Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (CHPR), together with Nick Willing, the painter's son, explained that negotiations with the artist's family had been going on for some time.
According to Teles de Menezes, these will be the first works of painting acquired by the municipality for the CHPR collection, inaugurated in 2009 to welcome, preserve and disseminate the work of the Portuguese artist, currently composed of about 600 engravings and drawings, counting with the painter's initial universe and later donations - a collection protected by the founding protocol, renewed until 2029.
"For some time now, the Chamber has been expressing its intention to acquire the family ofPaula Rego, and should be carried out until the opening of the next exhibition dedicated to the artist's work", one of the most renowned Portuguese painters, who died in June, in London, at the age of 87.
Scheduled to open on October 27, the exhibition will be titled "Stories of Every Day:Paula Rego—Anos 70", with works by the painter, from London and from the CHPR collection, in parallel with another exhibition, in dialogue with works by the artist Salette Tavares (1922-1994).
Contacted by Lusa, Nick Willing confirmed the negotiation with the Municipality of Cascais, and that the two works in question, "of large dimensions, created in the 1950s, are emblematic" of the journey ofPaula Rego. He also said that, although they were painted in London, they were displayed on the walls of the artist's father's factory in Lisbon.
"Our interest is to sell some works at more affordable prices or to donate them to institutions that welcome them with the best conditions, and that guarantee us that they will be exposed to the public. This is our main objective", said the director, adding that the family ofPaula Rego wants to "always try to have the works sold on display at the Casa das Histórias". These will be the first paintings acquired by the municipality for the CHPR collection, inaugurated in 2009 to host, preserve and disseminate the work of the Portuguese artist.