Work on ‘Salazar museum’ halts due to rotten roof beams

Work on creating a museum to Portugal’s long-running dictator António de Oliveira Salazar has been halted for the last two weeks due to the discovery of rotten roof beams.

Explains Expresso, “the beams that support the roof are older than people thought”.

Replacing them could take the €200,000 project that has outraged so many over budget, though everything points to the municipality of Santa Comba Dão (Salazar’s birthplace) ploughing forwards.

Councillor João Onofre told the paper the rotten beams will be replaced by “a new material known as light steel”, though works have been halted while all the logistics are sorted.

Says Expresso, the beams are so rotten that even a leaf blower blowing across them “makes them shudder”.

The idea for a museum for the country’s former dictator prompted a furious online petition earlier this year that amassed over 18,000 signatures (click here).

Citizens groups, left-leaning politicians and even former political prisoners opposed the plan, suggesting it would serve to “whitewash the ideology of the Estado Novo (Salazar’s iron-handed regime) and become another reason for neo-fascist pilgrimages to Santa Comba Dão”.

The council however saw the plan differently: arguing that it is not a ‘museum to Salazar’ as such but a more a ‘cultural project’ evoking history and political memory that could power tourism within the area.

As it is, the project is dubbed the “Interpretative Centre of the Estado Novo”, and has been scheduled for an opening date in early autumn 2020.

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