An invitation to wander round Loulé...
I would like to welcome you to Loulé Municipal Museum's website with the words of locally-born writer Lídia Jorge, who had this to say about Loulé: "We belong to it (...) Since we belong to the poetry just as intimately as we belong to the spaces"1. And it is this poetry that is to be found in the tales we tell through our collections, and in the spaces that we occupy and enjoy, and which shape us as a community. Loulé Municipal Museum has several branches – in Loulé, Alte, Salir and Querença – which invite visitors to become better acquainted with the territory that they showcase.
Based on the idea that museums are places for dialogue and which use their collections to inspire people, we want this new means of communication to provide a prime opportunity to reach out to people; we want to "tempt" people to visit us and help them plan their visits by making suggestions and being open to dialogue with everyone; we want this to be a space where people can ask questions about the contemporary construction of the territory; in short, we want our "house" to be open 24 hours a day!
This new Loulé Municipal Museum Website is the result of the effort that we have been making to talk with the public in a variety of ways, from social media to publications and communication through other means. Another small step to help affirm the institution as contemporary, attentive, involved and at the service of the public; and this combined with the fulfilment of our functions as a museum, functions which can be divulged here and include putting our collection online as early as next year.
The process of renovation and upgrading, which began in 2014, is currently ongoing. It is a process that includes a new visual identity, the computerisation of our collection and online ticket sales, a new type of welcome, the reorganisation of the synthesis exhibition, contemporary dialogues with the long-duration exhibition, the educational offering for families, the provision of guides in Braille, the provision of audio-guides about the long-duration exhibition, and the forming of the team to work with special-needs audiences, among other aspects. Additionally, we have submitted an application for accreditation by the Portuguese Museum Network and have started a process to upgrade the Quarteirão Cultural (Cultural Block), which includes the main museum, the traditional kitchen museum, the castle and the Islamic baths. The aim of this upgrade is to tell a new tale: a tale that begins in the Triassic Period with Metaposaurus algarvensis (a type of giant salamander), puts the spotlight on Southwest Script, and highlights mediaeval Loulé by means of the oldest document containing municipal council minutes known in Portugal (1384); this in addition to improving accessibility and enhancing the institution with laboratories and functional technical spaces.
Twenty-one years of dreams, of achievements, of sharing and of strengthening an identity that we have been building with each passing day; and all with aim of inspiring people, through our collections, and of becoming a privileged place for people to ask questions and for citizenship to flourish.
Visit us and surrender to the charms of our people, our territory and our testimonies to the past that tell a tale dating back thousands of years!
Dália Paulo, Diretora do Museu Municipal de Loulé
1 JORGE, Lídia (s/d), “Sexto olhar”, Cinco Olhares de Loulé, Edição Câmara Municipal de Loulé.