The disagreements of the current museums in Portugal.
It is said that nobody knows the Museum of Polyphonic Choirs of the South. It is natural, because the nation little recognizes itself in the museums to the south. Among the 15 national museums and National Palaces none is south of the Tagus. This is one of the mysteries of cultural policie in Portugal.
The DGPC has in its dependence these equipments. But many other relevant equipment is scattered throughout the country, with national relevance, under other tutelas. It is enough to speak of the Sintra parks complex (Vila Palace, Sintra Palace, Queluz Palace, etc., under concession to a PPP), or the Bragança Palaces (Guimarães, Estemoz and Ourém) or the Sagres Promontory in dependence the DR Culture of the Algarve, and the Pantão Real in the Church of São Vicente de Fora, as well as several of the national monuments that can be visited in this country, which find different forms of management. But that will be theme for another postcard in the future.
Here we try to analyze the contexts of Portuguese museum narratives and their current challenges. We are left with the ways in which they can surpass the visions of competitive nationalism of the nineteenth century to position themselves as modern, multicultural state actors with respect for cultural diversity.
These museums today face the issues arising from the tensions of globalization and the emergence of decolonial thinking.
These are questions as prosaic as the return of cultural goods (which has a small dimension in our country); the need to rethink the forms of presentation of the colonial collections (which, for example, the Museum of Ethnology tried to do without great success); the phenomenon of gentrification of urban centers and tourist flows (which in our country is very visible in Belém, for example, without measures still known); the emergence of the demand for patrimonial spaces for events, public or proved (that some years ago in ours the country ignited controversy about an event sponsored by the WEB Summit in the National Pantheon); or the production of a clear thought about the meaning of the transformation of cultural products into services to the community, be they public or private or even associative (issues that in our country are still sensitive, by the nature of an instrument of memory power); on issues arising from the metamorphosis of what is heritage and how it is preserved and replicated (an issue that is still at an early stage of discussion in the country); or the relevant issues such as migrations, religious quarrels and violence, climate change, which are important for the creation of futures in local communities, are still not very interrelated with museums, particularly in Portugal.