Prof. Mario Chagas: "I am aware that this Museum can produce happiness"
In little more than a year of management, the director of the Museum of the Republic Mario Chagas transformed the institution into a joyful and cultural space with events and projects that promise to give more security and comfort to the public. Professor of Museology at UNIRIO, a poet, PhD in Social Sciences and one of the creators of IBRAM - Brazilian Institute of Museums, Mario Chagas speaks exclusively to Bafafá. He tells us that the museum is even indicated by doctors to cure depression. "Our Museum has healing potential, which is extraordinary."
In the interview, he takes stock of the actions and lists the projects in view. Mario declares that he is open to the participation of the private initiative for the restoration of equipment and facilities and that his utopia is to reform the whole Palace until the end of its management in 2021.
In one year did you revolutionize the Museum of the Republic?
We seek to look at the history of the palace. In the 19th century it was a place of parties and receptions, serenades, frequented even by Kings. We return to tradition by bringing the Museum to life with activities such as music, fashion fairs, gastronomic events, exhibitions, debates, cinema and more. People stop me on the street to praise. It gave life to the neighborhood. Even doctors are recommending walking the Museum of the Republic to get out of depression. Our museum has healing potential, which is extraordinary.
Already with the full calendar?
Yes, for the whole year. But we are always open to interesting projects that are primarily self-sustaining.
Wednesdays and Sundays, entrance is free?
Correct, just come and enjoy the history of this centennial building. On Tuesdays it stays open until 10pm. On the last Tuesday of the month there is the "Republican Tuesday" which discusses themes about the Republic.
What are the days of Seresta?
Seresta is from Tuesday to Sunday (Tuesday to Friday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm), Saturday and Sunday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Is the Museum opening hours very flexible?
It is divided into three parts: opens at 08h and 18h closes the bottom of the park. The front part is open until 10pm. Both houses the seresta that ends at 9pm and the cinema at 10pm every day of the week. In other special dates we use what we call the middle of the museum where it has auditorium and rooms.
What about programming?
We have greatly increased programming. Today there are more than 20 events per month. We have the Half Day Sausage, in the auditorium, with classical music and that is pumping. We opened an exhibition on memes in politics, "The Politics of Memes." We have also made many book releases. The Museum is today an expressive cultural center of the city of Rio de Janeiro. On July 20 we will have a festival called "West-se". Let's welcome young artists from the West Zone. We also plan events for children and for the elderly.
Can anyone submit projects to the Museum?
Yes. We have a team that analyzes the proposals of shows, exhibitions, shows and, being feasible, we do. We have an infrastructure, but no money. The project has to be self-sustaining.
And Seresta? Check that it will become book and exhibition?
Seresta is over 20 years old. Her regulars are captive and everything in the museum revolves around her. The book is at the end of writing by the researcher Maria Helena Versiani and we are seeking partnership even for a movie. The exhibition will be in the second half.
Did you get money to get the electrical part back?
We got a sum of R $ 971 thousand reais to do the electrical remodeling of Annex 1 and 2. Let's change the entire wiring, it will be a "gambiarra" operation. We also have the executive project of fire fighting and panic. It is in the approval phase in the Fire Department and IPHAN. It will have indications for fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, new hoses, new lightning rods, alarms for all museum facilities. Leave this year still. Another front is the maintenance of the garden, the events and the planning to receive more public.
The overall renovation of the museum will cost around R $ 15 million. This money we will go back.
Do these events bring income?
They bring in counterparts. Services and not money. TV Globo filmed here and will restore the grotto that is interdicted with danger of fall. We indicate companies, they select and pay. In this way we reformed four rooms and the auditorium with counterpart funds. With services and equipment.
Can you photograph in the Palace?
If it has commercial purpose has cost, including weddings. There is a normative instruction and the fees generate a GRU that goes to the state coffers.
How many workers do you have?
More than 40 employees have come out in recent years. Today we have 90 outsourcers and 40 technical staff. I'm short of staff.
Can not you run in the Garden?
There are many children and elderly people, can not run. Also can not scooter, bikeand dog.
Is the balcony at some risk?
In previous management has been anchored and is safe. Our priority is the palace as a whole. We want a global restoration project.
Can the private sector participate in the restoration?
Until August we will create the Association of Friends of the Museum of the Republic. We would very much like a company or hotels to help restore the palace grilles and gates, the two fountains and the grotto. If they adopted the playground it helped a lot too. Or a company that traded asphalt from the garden streets. We can recapture with asphalt that drains the water and cover the holes that appear.
What is your utopia in this Museum?
Restore as much as possible Palace in my management until 2021. I am aware that this Museum can produce happiness. This is our focus. Here is a safe space in the city, if we can contribute more happiness, the better. I am convinced that museums are spaces of poetry, of dream, of healing. My utopia is that it be so, generating social benefits.
Interview granted to Ricardo Rabelo, editor of the newspaper and the Bafafá Agenda.
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