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Inauguration of the exhibition “Freedom and Europe: A construction of everyone”

19 Jan · 18h00

© David Santos

Tomorrow, 20 January, in Brussels, Prime Minister António Costa and the President of the European Parliament, David Maria Sassoli, will be inaugurating the exhibition entitled “Freedom and Europe: A construction of everyone”, organised under the scope of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union by the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage and by the European Parliament, in close cooperation with the Curator of the Portuguese State Collection of Contemporary Art. The initiative creates a dialogue between two important art collections: the Portuguese State Collection of Contemporary Art and the European Parliament's Art Collection.


Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Paula Rego, Lourdes Castro, Nikias Skapinakis, Joaquim Rodrigo, Julião Sarmento and Helena Almeida are just some of the names represented in this showcase. The majority of the artists who are part of this exhibition have experienced or defended an idea of Europe in the different stages of their artistic careers, contributing to raising awareness to the physical and cultural proximity of the peoples who define our European tapestry.


The title of the exhibition immediately evokes two core values of European integration: Freedom – whether of expression, circulation or of the affirmation of human dignity – and that of a Europe based on the importance of these very values. In this respect, the defence of the values of freedom will be the defence of Europe itself, both now and in the future, something we are all responsible for.

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© David Santos

For the Portuguese Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, "it is very symbolic and enriching to be able to see these collections and these contemporary Portuguese artists in dialogue, taking freedom and Europe as their motto, two ideas built together and in close dialogue. This example reminds us that across borders and cultures, across time and customs, we share a rich history".


Graça Fonseca finally added: "We share anxieties, we desire more than the ephemeral and we project art against oblivion, like the most precious of testimonials. In art, as in all culture, there is one thing we always say: that we're free and that we're here. And this is precisely what has made, still makes and will always make us Humanity. I would like to thank you all for having made these dialogues possible, as well as for having made it possible to visit them."