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The Centro Magalhães Program will involve an investment of four million euros and allow the "movement of artists and cultural projects" between the Alentejo, Algarve and Andalusia (Spain), revealed this Thursday the Minister of Culture.

"The tripod" based on "history, creativity and cooperation" is what best represents the project, summarized Graça Fonseca, in statements to journalists at the end of the presentation of the program, which took place at the Monastery of São Bento de Cástris in Évora.

Funded by INTERREG V Spain Portugal (POCTEP) and integrated into the larger project called SPHERA Cástris for the Cultural and Creative Industries, Magalhães will be run from this year until 2021.

According to the minister, the program "will connect projects in the areas of Alentejo, Algarve and Andalusia", in EspanGraca Fonsecaha, being present "the dimension of cooperation and network", as "will allow the circulation of artists and cultural projects" between the regions.

"Portugal is a country with a very rich heritage, but it has a dimension not comparable with other countries, namely our neighbor, Spain," he said, pointing out the need to create "projects that build networks beyond the Portuguese territory and market" .

Graça Fonseca welcomed the fact that the project, which involves around four million euros, allows "to continue the preservation of the Monastery" of São Bento de Cástris and to have "a sustained program with artistic residences and exhibition centers".

"It has a dimension of artistic residences, which will allow resident artists to program, as well as a part of incubation, a dimension of support for entrepreneurship and support for projects in the area of ​​cultural and creative industries," he said.

According to the governor, the four million euros cover the components of "infrastructure rehabilitation" and "programming" and will be applied in the two poles of the program, the monastery and the School of Arts of the University of Évora.

Also in remarks to journalists, the regional director of Culture of Alentejo, Ana Paula Amendoeira, indicated that "over 600 thousand euros" have already been invested in works in the monastery in the last four years.

"We have several spaces that have been recovered, we have now done the electrical installations and we are doing the bathrooms", but they are "interventions to the scale of our possibilities and always interventions relatively small for the dimension of the monument," he said.

With the financial support of the Centro Magalhães Program, it will be possible to carry out "a more consistent and comprehensive intervention," he said, admitting that he still "can not do everything that is necessary"

The Monastery of São Bento de Cástris, classified as a national monument, may, in this project, accommodate residences, art, science and heritage exchanges, and incubation of creative and cultural industries.

It will also be a new cultural space in the region, with permanent and temporary exhibition halls, for usufruct of citizens, according to the guardianship.

At the School of Arts of the University of Évora, a creative laboratory will be born with equipment of digital manufacture and rapid prototyping, open to university students, artists, creatives and the population in general and that will serve as a space to support the incubation of creative industries .

"It is intended to develop cross-border action lines that strengthen the capacity building of the cultural and creative industries sector in the regions involved: Alentejo, Algarve and Andalusia," according to the Government.

In Alentejo, the Alentejo Regional Directorate for Culture and the University of Évora are partners of the program, and the application was promoted by the Alentejo Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR).

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