Launch of the Congonhas Museum in Brazil
UNESCO Brasilia Office in partnership with Congonhas City Hall has organized a launching ceremony of the opening of Congonhas Museum at Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas, state of Minas Gerais. Since 2003, UNESCO Brasilia Office has developed the Congonhas Museum Project. Its main objective is to deliver in perfect functioning conditions the facilities of the Museum, as well as its architectonic and museographic project. After UBO concluded the delivery process of both architectonical and museographic project, Congonhas City Hall will be responsible for the works of maintenance of the building. The Museum is next to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas, a site inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1985.
The inauguration will be held on 15 December.
Inauguration of Congonhas Museum, a reference centre for the architectural, landscaping and sculpture complex of Bom Jesus do Congonhas, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1985. The museum, with a total area of 3,452.30 m², will offer quality information to guide visitors to a public space to acquire the knowledge offered there and to enjoy the aesthetic pleasure the whole building. The Complex, built in several stages over the 18th and 19th centuries, consists of the church, the outdoor stairway decorated with soapstone statues of the Twelve Prophets – one of the most complete groups of prophets in the world – and seven chapels illustrating the Stations of the Cross, containing 64 cedar sculptures in natural size. There, the most prominent artists of the period worked together, such as the sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa, "Aleijadinho" (1738-1814) and the painter Manoel da Costa Athaíde (1760-1830), the greatest expressions of Brazilian colonial art. Besides being a masterpiece of Brazilian Baroque, which attracts tourists from all over the world, the Sanctuary is also one of the most important pilgrimage centres of the country. A great pilgrimage – called Jubilee – takes place there every year in September, bringing together a crowd of faithful pilgrims. The Museum associates goals of dissemination and interpretation of the Congonhas collection; research studies on conservation of stone monuments; diffusion of stone sculpture and design; appreciation of the folk tradition of pilgrimage, and also revitalization of urban and regional development, having cultural heritage as an axis.