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Funchal Aims to Become The Centre of European Culture

During the inauguration of a new exhibition called ‘Blue Light’ by Silvestre Pestana at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, The Mayor of Funchal, Miguel Silva Gouveia, confirmed that the exhibition is the first event promoted and organised by the Funchal municipality as part of the Municipality’s  candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2027.  The exhibition is open to the public form today until the 20th of February 2021 and is the creation of the Funchal City Council and ArtWorks.

Miguel Silva Gouveia, accompanied by the Cultural Secretary, Madalena Nunes, began by greeting everyone present, saying that “Silvestre is one of the artists we can be proud of and it is a great pleasure for us to see him return to his birthplace and welcome his work in our city. This is the first individual exhibition by a internationally renowned artist to be used in support of Funchal’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture.”

The mayor thanked the exhibition coordinator, Hélder Folgado, “for the vision of this cultural event, the first in a series that will pave the way to Europe.  He also thanked  musician Pedro Pestana “for the musicality he brought to art” highlighting that this exhibition would not take place in New York, Paris or London, but only in Funchal, for him the best city in the world.

He went on to say, “It was here in Madeira where we opened Europe’s door to the world. The culture and multiculturalism that is known today, and of which Europe is the principle exponent in the world, has invariably passed through Madeira. It was Funchal that helped identify new paths to Europe and it is time to show the world the talent that Funchal has and all that we can offer, demonstrating to everyone who lives here of the possibility that we can achieve our aim to become the European Capital of Culture.”

Miguel Silva Gouveia stressed that in times of crisis it is often easier to cease many activities, to stop maintaining cultural programs, to postpone projects, yet it is precisely in the cultural environment where hope resides. It is in the artistic environment and in the creativity of our talents and our cultural activities where we can continue to adapt and prosper as a society.”

“What we are doing is raising the bar in Funchal by stepping out on the European stage with the best we have. With the clearly international profile associated with this project, with its roots in Funchal and the notion of local needs and opportunities, we reaffirm the strength of the Funchal 2027 application and the ambition of an ultra-peripheral city like ours to be at the cultural centre of the European continent.”

Samantha Gannon

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