The Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS) of the University of Minho launched last Friday the Virtual Museum of Lusophony (MVL) on the Google Arts & Culture platform. The event was attended by the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, UMinho’s rector, Rui Vieira de Castro, Google’s Public Policy Manager, Helena Martins, and the director of the Virtual Museum of Lusophony and the CECS, Moisés de Lemos Martins.
According to the director of CECS and MVL, Moisés de Lemos Martins, this museum makes the largest, most beautiful and most promising of his academic dreams come true. “It has the soul of the Communication and Society Research Centre and, likewise, the soul of researchers from all Portuguese-speaking countries, from many regions, such as Galicia and Macau and from many communities that constitute Portuguese-speaking diasporas”, adds the professor. Moisés de Lemos Martins also mentions that the MVL “associates cultural and artistic institutions, companies linked to editorial activity, as well as the production of audiovisual content, with the support of central bodies in Portuguese-speaking countries”. The director of CECS also announced the cooperation between the Virtual Museum of Lusophony and the Camões Institute.
Google Public Policy Manager, Helena Martins, presented Google Arts & Culture, highlighting the alignment of this project with the Portuguese government’s strategy to “accelerate the country’s digital transformation”. According to Helena Martins, Google Arts & Culture “aims to be a strategic partner for the cultural sector, from the point of view of technology, because the idea is to offer several high-tech and innovative tools, products and equipment, to help organizations to preserve their cultural wealth, but also to create their cultural experiences online ”.
Rui Vieira de Castro, the rector of the University of Minho, said that the university has its own internationalization strategy that never forgets its internationalization space first: the European space for higher education. The rector of UMinho also recalled that historically, great importance has been attributed to geographies that have Portuguese as their official language.
“The Portuguese language is not the language of the Portuguese, but of those who chose it as their language”, said the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Augusto Santos Silva, regarding the demographic, historical and geographical dynamics that make Portuguese the third most spoken in the world. In an academic context, Augusto Santos Silva emphasized the importance of the institutional projection of the language, recalling that “Portuguese is an official language of the European Union, it is a working language in various organizations of the United Nations system, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations. African Union and is an official language in different regional organizations ”. “The development of the Portuguese language as a language of creation and culture is also very important, the strengthening of the Portuguese language as a language of science”, adds the minister, explaining the need to fight for Portuguese as a language of science.
The Visual Museum of Lusophony is available for visitors to access and has 45 virtual multimedia exhibitions, 256 works of art, 112 photographs, 98 radio programs, 19 films and two documentaries about Portuguese-speaking countries. The broadcast of the ceremony is now available on the YouTube channel of the Virtual Museum of Lusophony.