The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) - Museu do Chiado will undergo expansion works, to duplicate the areas of reserves and exhibitions, announced the Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva.
"At a time when we are going to launch a new museum, Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC) - CCB, with a more international profile, here we are turning the page, a more renewed ambition at MNAC - Museu do Chiado, with a more national profile. For this, we need to expand both the reservation space and the exhibition space, considering that, since 2015, there is an extensive area that was transferred from the PSP to Culture", said Pedro Adão e Silva to journalists, in the act of donating of two paintings, one by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso and the other by Manuel D'Assumpção, at the Museu do Chiado, in Lisbon.
The minister reinforced that "now is the time to make this investment and start the work and process for this investment". Pedro Adão e Silva stressed that "the doubling of the reserve space" at the MNAC "will allow us to have many more parts in deposit". The expansion will be made taking advantage of an "area that is currently absolutely vacant". The Minister of Culture declined to advance with investment values for this undertaking. "For now we are going to do the project and with that we will have a more accurate idea of what the amount of investment will be", he said.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Isabel Cordeiro, on the same occasion, explained to journalists that this year the competition for the architecture project will be launched, and that in 2024 the works should begin, without the need to close the museum. In February 2014, the then Secretary of State for Culture, Jorge Barreto Xavier, signed a protocol with the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) and the Ministry of Finance for the transfer of part of the S. Francisco convent, where a police station for the PSP and the former Civil Government had also operated, with the aim of doubling the available space to the Museum of Chiado.The expansion works first extended to the Civil Government building, on Rua Capelo, which opened in 2015, later establishing a connection to the original museum building, on Rua Serpa Pinto.
There was, however, the objective of establishing an expansion program that would cover all areas. The assignment of the space under MAI’s tutelage at the Convento de São Francisco corresponded to an already old project, which went through several governments, but never came to fruition. One of the museum's main problems, pointed out by all directors over the past 30 years, was the lack of space to show one of the most important public art collections in the country. The MNAC-MC, which today has a collection of almost 5,000 pieces of art, from 1850 to the present day, many of them in entities such as embassies and ministries, completed one hundred years in May 2011. As for the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, it will inaugurate the new contemporary art museum, the MAC-CCB, in phases throughout this year, in the space hitherto occupied by the Museu Coleção Berardo.