The project to remodel and restore Évora Museum, under the direction of the architect Raúl Hestnes Ferreira, is essentially a project to conserve the existing architectural and constructional characteristics. These can be seen as the result of gradual changes which gave the building, originally the residence of the Archbishops of Évora, a space that is identified with its current function. The intention is to restore the different environments, somewhat degraded by the ageing of the materials but, at the same time, to confer a rational and aesthetic unity to the spaces.
Another objective is to increase and reorganise the area for the permanent exhibition, since the original arrangement of the Museum is insufficient for presenting the main collections of painting, sculpture, archaeology, natural objects and the decorative arts in general to the public.
From the project’s beginning, archaeological excavations were planned and these were carried out in 1996 and 1997. The discovery of Roman, Moorish and mediaeval structures brought about alterations to the project and required further exhibition space, at the same time as they suggested the incorporation of new ideas in relation to routes for visits.
This constant reflection on the collections, the fruit of the collaboration between the architect, Hestnes Ferreira, and Évora Museum naturally led to a redefinition of the permanent exhibition.
06 December 2007