New status could save Fábrica

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Silves Câmara is hoping that the Fábrica do Inglês can be classified as a heritage building in order to safeguard its cultural and architectural history.

A Câmara spokesman told the Algarve Resident this week that the council had submitted a request to the Institute for the Management of Architectural and Archaeological Heritage (Igespar), the organisation responsible for the classification of cultural and historical buildings.

It is hoped that the classification of the entire complex, which incorporates the Cork Museum (Museu da Cortiça), would safeguard its future.

The complex is currently facing severe financial difficulties, which puts at risk the preservation of the largest collection in the world of documents relating to the cork industry.

A new status for the Fábrica would prevent any business owed money by the complex from obtaining part of the collection in payment for any monies due.

Fábrica do Inglês and the Cork Museum were, for many years, held up as a fine example of co-operation between the legal responsibilities and the private management of museum collections.

In 2001, the museum was honoured by the European Museum Forum with the Micheletti Prize for Best Industrial Museum in Europe, having registered more than 100,000 visitors that year.

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