Santo António Church – Photo: TURISMO DO ALGARVE

Revamped Lagos museum to reopen after four years

Lagos’ nearly century-old municipal museum will reopen on October 26 after four years of renovation works, the local council has announced.

The Museu Municipal Doutor José Formosinho, founded in 1932, closed in September 2017 to undergo much-needed improvements to the building it is located in.

Conservation work was also carried out on artefacts and displays that showed signs of ‘wear and tear’.

The reopening of the museum will provide an “important contribution to the recognition and cultural projection of the Algarve,” said the local council in a statement to the press.

The building has undergone “substantial improvements” and will boast an exhibition comprised of an “important array of pieces dating back to before 1460 (the year of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator) and up to the end of the Peninsular War”.

The Santo António Church, a national monument which is part of the museum’s itinerary, has also been refurbished and boasts new lighting to enhance its “gilded wood carvings, paintings and the image of the Patron Saint” of the local religious brotherhood.

The museum will also feature an “exhibition of special collections” made up of pieces from the museum’s founder as well as donations from the people of Lagos.

The exhibition will include a “cabinet of curiosities, a section of naturalist paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries and a section dedicated to the so-called artisanal or homemade industries, with a notable array of objects”.

The renovation of the museum and its assets involved a €3.4 million investment, carried out as part of the CRESC Algarve 2020 programme with 60% of the funding covered via the FEDER EU fund.

The local council also says works will begin soon to expand the museum to the building in front of it where the former PSP police station was located. This new part of the museum will be used as an archaeology unit.

The museum is named after José Formosinho, a local archaeologist born in 1888 who was one of the driving forces behind its creation.

Museum entrance – Photo: REDE DE MUSEUS DO ALGARVE
Museum interior before the renovations – Photo: TURISMO DO ALGARVE
Santo António Church – Photo: TURISMO DO ALGARVE