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Art painted on the doors

Updated on December 16, 2011

Imagine a city Old Town with more than 500 years. An area of ​​the city that carried the wrinkles and the History. And this happens in other cities of the world, sometimes the Old Town are lost through the years, give rise to other architectures or are retrieved in order to keep the flame from the past. This last thing happened in Funchal city, in Madeira island, Portugal. And what continues to happen. Everything under one of a son of the old town, João Carlos Abreu, until recently years secretary of Tourism and Culture in Madeira island.

1st life

He gave the first impetus to the Old Town of Funchal for over four decades. Invited to government functions, João Carlos Abreu breaks a piece of work that had been developing. However, not disconnected from its Old Town. But the project leaves a little “stand by”, he confides today. Do it for nobody accuse him to privileged, perhaps its most noble area of ​​the city.
By leaving the business of government, as well as working to support children and young people through the Criamar association, was to recover the history books of the Old Town. He blew some dust deposited the year and continued to turn pages, paint new pages and make the things happened.
Admittedly, without false modesty, which he is driving the second life of the Old Town.
The “first life” was a long way to change the soul in that area of ​​the capital of Madeira, where he began the settlement of the island.
João Carlos Abreu, the "father" of the "new" Old Town, which is considered a great defender recalls that 45 years ago, was arrested twice in that passed years for taking the rings of the houses were condemned to be flagged for lying down.
Back from Rome, Italy, one city with full of history, where he was studying, drink more sensitivity to the built heritage. He considered it a pity to bring down houses of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the next century. An effort that was not in vain because he says with satisfaction that these houses are almost all recovered.
The "first life" of the Old Town of the recovery comes at a time when João Carlos Abreu opened the restaurant "A Romana", awarded and recognized throughout the world.
"I knew perfectly well that should begin with the social part. The houses were already degraded and some families were not many conditions. And there could not start because at the time, was still more complicated. The only way was to draw attention to Old Town and a with a restaurant and I, even bad singing, singing every night and bring journalists, writers, and many people from different areas”, confides João Carlos Abreu.

The "2nd life"

Years pass and reached the "second life" of the Old Town.

João Carlos Abreu says that there were two moments that gave a new impetus: the tavern, Joana Rabo-de-Peixe and the Venda Velha (Old Sale). He admits that “more people brought to this area of ​​the city, especially young people”.
The Lagartixa Fair, where sells many things in some days of the month was appointed to another add.

The painting doors

But the most visible component of this second pathway are the doors of the Rua de Santa Maria and surrounding areas: the painting doors.
He says they are not only a manifestation of art but also a way to draw attention to the poor state of some houses.
Furthermore, it recognizes that the doors painted became a pole of attraction because “every day, not only tourists and locals themselves, come to see the front door of Santa Maria.”
No doubt in saying that, through this initiative consists of a tourist attraction that “may be a mark of destiny.”
“One more pleasing than others, but that's because the doors reveal the soul and talent of painters. Therefore, they could not all be equal.”

States that are works that appear in old doors “which are not assets at all. So I think the other ports will not be painted, the paint should be given a color to draw the attention of others. "
He recognizes the doors brought more and more people to visit the Olde Town.
The idea of the painting door belongs to the Spanish Jose Maria Zyberchema, coordinator of the doors, which presented the proposal and João Carlos Abreu applauded with both hands. "It gave the push to put in motion," confides referring to the project that aims to "contribute to the culture on the island of Madeira."
It is he who manages the available ports to be painted. "And fortunately, I now think that there are more painters than doors that interested to paint doors."
At this time, after the work already done, João Carlos Abreu argues that open in the old shops and a boutique hotel and offers to emerge as an old shoemaker, a water room yet old, a tinsmith, and so on.
Acknowledges that the part of Funchal City Hall has been a great collaboration. It even says that the City Council itself has purchased some real estate to put residents.
For all these reasons that João Carlos Abreu believes that the Old Town of Funchal will never die. “I can die but there will be others to continue”, conludes.


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    • Paul Berod profile imageAUTHOR

      Paulo Camacho 

      6 years ago from Funchal, Madeira island, Portugal

      It's, really, a fantastisc idea; an antentic museum in an open space. And free.

    • instantlyfamily profile image


      6 years ago


    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I love these doors. It is a great way to give an old door new life.


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