The Museu Nacional Vive (National Museum Lives) is an international cooperation project carried out by UNESCO, Vale Foundation and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
Among other actions, the project implements its governance structure with the objective of establishing strategic guidelines, monitoring and planning articulation and optimization actions of different initiatives and projects, as well as to ensure the smooth execution and continuity of these actions for the reconstruction and restoration of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. It particularly focuses on the rebuilding and restoration of the Paço de São Cristóvão and its attachment; the preparation of the Palace to receive the new museography; the renovation of the Library and the Botanical Garden; and the implementation of the Cavalariças Campus.
The governance structure also aims at expanding the participation of society in the project. It is centred on the functioning of three forums:
- Executive Committee – main deliberative body to which the Technical Management Group of the project will be subordinated;
- Institutional Committee – consultative and with the participation of public, private and governmental partners;
- Post-Inauguration Safety and Sustainability Working Group – coordinated by BNDES and engaged by the Association of Friends of the National Museum and other third sector institutions).
The first stage of the project is to carry out architectural, content and museography projects, as well as the certification of environmental sustainability, among other actions, such as the restoration of integrated assets, educational activities and social mobilization. Once this stage is over, the intention is to implement projects in the mechanisms of fiscal incentive to culture and raise resources from the private sector to promote this reconstruction.
UNESCO makes available its expertise and technical knowledge in the area of museums and safeguarding cultural heritage to overcome the operational challenges of this project. “The objective is to restore this important cultural, academic and scientific institution to be available to Brazilian and international societies. The National Museum has historical value and incomparable relevance for humanity,” states the Director and Representative of UNESCO in Brazil.
The National Museum suffered a major fire in September 2018. Through the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, a mission of experts was organized to support local partners in the first actions. In a joint effort with the then Ministry of Culture (MinC), with MEC, UFRJ, the National Museum, the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN), the Brazilian Museum Institute (IBRAM), and the International Committee of Museums (ICOM), the mission, led by a UNESCO specialist and assisted by a specialist from the International Centre for Studies for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), as well as German technicians, contributed to the Brazilian authorities in diagnosing the situation of the National Museum and assessing the damage caused to the building and its collection.