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Stories brought by the river


Exhibition «designed to provoke sensations» brings the stories of the Arade river

An exhibition «designed to provoke sensations», which «proposes a game to visitors, presenting pieces whose function is difficult to perceive, giving them the opportunity to guess their functionality, offering several hypotheses to choose from».

Through objects and illustrations of environments, the visitor “is carried along by the current of stories of naval activities in a port open to the world, of defense and protection of the port, of riverside life to the sacred memories of the river, thus being invited to discover fragments of a past that reveal the stories that a river brings us».

The exhibition also marks the beginning of the celebrations for the centenary of Portimão's elevation to city status, the program of which will be presented moments before the opening of the exhibition. The celebrations, in fact, are based on a «vast set of activities inspired by people and based on memories, in the present and the future».

This new exhibition, in addition to starting the celebrations of “Portimão, Centenary City (1924-2024)”, aims to show the general public the results of scientific research carried out in recent decades, which brought together fragments of the city's past, revealing many stories about Arade, which, since ancient times, has been an access point to the Algarve interior, due to the excellent conditions of its estuary as a natural shelter.

This led Portimão, probably “Portus Hanibalis”, “Portus Magnus” or “Cilpis”, to grow in close connection with the river, becoming part of an extensive network of commercial and cultural exchanges.

The progressive silting of the Arade affected its navigation, making it necessary to carry out extensive dredging, starting in the 70s of the last century, which “removed enormous amounts of sediment from the riverbed, later deposited on the beaches, in which countless traces of the past, testimonies of the occupation of this region from prehistory to the present day».

These testimonies from other eras were collected over the years by members of the Projecto Ipsiis Association, with whom the Portimão Museum has been developing an innovative research project since 2014, entitled DETDA – Prospecting with metal detectors in the dredged deposits of the Arade River and the ria de Alvor, «the relevant involvement and participation of civil society in this process deserves to be highlighted».

In the course of research and heritage safeguarding work carried out in recent years by the Municipality of Portimão, through the Division of Museums and Heritage, this archeology exhibition, «allows the perception of the Arade river as a heritage repository and the valorization of the remains there coming as material reflections of the experiences of the populations that inhabited the region», explains the Museum.

The diversity of intercultural and territorial relationships established over time, their dynamics and impact on the development of society, will be the themes developed within the scope of this exhibition.

The executive committee of this exhibition project is made up of the Museum's scientific director, José Gameiro, and the directors of the DETDA project, Vera Teixeira de Freitas and Isabel Soares.


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