Mysteries of the Goan-Portuguese shared heritage
The Estado da India portrait gallery in Old Goa is currently being studied and interpretations are being researched by the Old Goa Revelations Team, visiting Goa all the way from Portugal. A recent conference on the ‘Study and Preservation – Shared Heritage of Portuguese Origin’ featured the Old Goa Revelations project studying the insights on the Vice-Roys’ Portrait gallery. Café has the details
In the framework of Old Goa Revelations (OGR), a conference titled ‘Study and Preservation – Shared Heritage of Portuguese Origin’, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in cooperation with the Archaeological Survey of India and Fundação Oriente, discussed the multidisciplinary approach in the study and preservation of shared heritage in Portuguese origin with presentations. The conference was held at Fundação Oriente, Panjim. The OGR works by a theme quote ‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’
The research was promoted by the Portuguese research centers CIEBA – University of Lisbon, Faculty of Fine-Arts, Laboratório HERCULES University of Évora and Laboratório José de Figueiredo- Portuguese Directorate of Cultural Heritage. The session was promoted by Fundação Oriente, taking advantage of the fact that the team of researchers of the OGR Project (Old Goa Revelations - New Insights on the Vice-Roys Portrait Gallery) is present in Goa to carry out a project of cooperation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Old Goa. The three participant researchers Dr António Candeia, Dr Mónica Esteves Reis, Conservator-Restorer Teresa Teves Reis, and Dr Fernando António Baptista Pereira discussed their experiences regarding the study, interpretation and preservation of shared heritage of Portuguese origin worldwide. Conservator-Restorer Teresa Teves Reis presented an overview of the Project Old Goa Revelations: New insights on the Vice-Roys Portrait Gallery. Dr Mónica Esteves Reis discussed the Heritages of Portuguese influence in Brazil, Africa and India. The session answered questions about collective memory, identity and post-colonial conservation policies. Dr Fernando António Baptista Pereira presented the topic ‘Museology of far-eastern collections of Portuguese origin; Museums of Macau and Fundação Oriente’.The presentations focused on heritage studies, museology and conservation, especially in shared heritage scenarios such as Goa, as there is a need to build common dialogue and terminologies that are key to collaborative projects with international and multidisciplinary teams and institutions, such as the OGR Project.
Dr Mónica Esteves Reis has been conducting scientific missions in India in several locations, including Goa, for the last 12 years. Along with the team OGR Project, she is developing scientific examination of a selected series of portraits with top-end equipment with non-invasive procedures that allow them to capture the underlying paint layers without the need of removing the paint. Preserving heritage is important to every society. Dr Mónica spoke on how the conservation of heritage and culture is necessary. “Historical locations are a part of our cultural matrix and help define one's identity; building collective references that relate to a collective of memories including society's ideas, beliefs and values that society then organises into a system (a construction). These collective of memories are understood, accepted and adopted by that society.” According to her belief, preserving the historic locations and traditions we can acquire its values to society, hence, actively cooperating to its preservation. Speaking to a selective crowd of audience, a participant described the importance and need to attend such kinds of conference and sessions. “I am here today because I feel that such topics are rarely spoken of and people have neglected the beautiful heritage. But knowing the research and work done to preserve the heritage is what makes it exciting and essential to know about.” Goa’s colonial-era left behind some remarkable heritage, which today is being forgotten about due to the new technologies and constructions taking over. The OGR group reminds us of the significance that lies in studying and preserving heritage.
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