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The opening hours of the National Museums, Monuments and Palaces, on weekends, are now between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., announced this Tuesday, the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage. In compensation, the tickets are free.
The Directorate General of Cultural Heritage (DGPC), which is responsible for 156 museums in the Portuguese Network of Museums, justifies this new schedule with the "rules of confinement in force", which limit the circulation of the Portuguese.
Some museums in Lisbon and Porto have also decided to reduce the schedule or close down completely, in the next weekends, in response to the new rules of confinement in force until November 23.
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), in Belém, Lisbon, opted to close completely on the next two weekends - November 14 and 15, and November 21 and 22 - but during the week keeps the daily schedule from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., indicated an EDP Foundation source.
The Gulbenkian Museum, on the next two weekends, will be open from 09h30 to 12h, instead of the usual 10h/18h, also indicated a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation source. The temporary exhibitions "Infinite Sculptures" and "René Lalique and the Age of Glass" can be seen during the same time.
The Berardo Collection Museum in Belém will close on Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, with the last entrance at 12h30. The activities for adults and families, planned for these weekends, will be held at new times indicated on the museum's 'online' site.
The Money Museum will also be closed to the public on weekends 14 and 15 and 21 and 22 of November, but it will remain open from Wednesday to Friday, between 10am and 6pm.
In Porto, the park and Contemporary Art Museum of Serralves Foundation will also only be open during the morning, on the weekends of the confinement.
Limit of five people
Contacted by the Lusa agency, the president of the Portuguese Museology Association (APOM), João Neto, indicated that the entity's management will recommend to its associates the reduction of hours or closure, "to follow the recommendations of the anti-covid-19 prevention plan" of the Government.
"We consider that the museums should evaluate if it is worthwhile to be open only in the morning, or, if it is not justified, or if it can affect the safety of visitors and employees, it will even be to close totally these days", he declared.
João Neto also said that APOM's direction defends that the activities already programmed should be distributed for other days, "taking into account that the groups of visitors should not exceed five people, and in case they are family members, up to the limit of ten".
"After all, a good evaluation of the situations of each museum and, above all, the good sense should prevail. Reconcile visits and activities with security to protect the health of all," argued the president of APOM, adding that since Friday they have received dozens of phone calls from associated museums across the country asking for clarification on the new rules of confinement.
Maria de Jesus Monge, president of the Portuguese committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-Portugal), considered that the closure of museums, "which are in the red zones [of the pandemic], should be mandatory" to protect visitors and staff. "We are still evaluating the impact that these new rules will have on the country's museums," she said.
In the 121 municipalities most affected by the pandemic, until Nov. 23, curfews are in effect between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday, as well as "limiting freedom of movement" on weekends Nov. 14 and 15, and Nov. 21 and 22, according to the new rules of confinement decreed by the government.
On weekends, the "limitation of freedom of movement" will be in force between 1 p.m. on Saturday and 5 a.m. on Sunday, and 5 a.m. on Monday.
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