A farewell from São Lourenço cultural centre

São Lourenço Cultural Centre in Almancil is hosting a farewell party on April 7 to celebrate the past 31 years of cultural enjoyment and entertainment at the centre that is now preparing to close.

Founder Marie Huber, who opened the centre with her late husband Volker Huber, told the Algarve Resident: “I am sadly closing the centre, however, I am not certain what the future will hold for the cultural centre itself. I am hoping to find someone who is willing to take over and run it themselves, but until then, it will be closed.”

Speaking about the history of her involvement with the cultural centre, Marie said: “My husband and I regularly spent holidays in the Algarve and dreamed of building a meeting place for artists here.”

It was in 1981 that they renovated an old house in São Lourenço, which later became the Cultural Centre.

“It was a great adventure, which unfortunately is coming to an end. We invested everything we had and for more than 30 years have organised exhibitions, concerts, meetings with writers and archaeologists,” said Marie.

The Cultural Centre has had more than one million visitors over the years and was also regularly host to a winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature, Günter Grass.

The Algarve Tourism Board, via its blog, pays special tribute to Marie Huber and her work at the Cultural Centre. It says: “We express our greatest appreciation for the work done by Marie and wish her every success in the future.”

Barry Shaw from the Amigos de Música de São Lourenço said: “Volker and Marie loved the Algarve and the local people. They set up a superb commercial art gallery the like of which Portugal had never seen before.

“The gallery opened amidst a blaze of national publicity. Letters of congratulations, praise from the President of the Republic and in depth press, television and radio coverage.

“As time went by, they sought other ways in which to bring culture to what was then a rustic and arid corner of Europe by beginning various projects among which were visual awareness classes for children and, of course, music.”

Marie made the decision to close the doors of the centre due to the necessary workload that is required, “too much” at this stage in her life.

At the event, guests will be able to purchase a €100 voucher towards a piece of art, part of the Cultural Centre’s collection.

Food and drink will be served at the farewell party which starts at 6pm.

For further information, please call Marie on 289 395 475 or email on: [email protected]