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ICOM supports the Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, threatened by eviction

ICOM joins its different committees’ recent statements in supporting the “Museu da Maré resists!” movement.

ICOM supports the Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, threatened by eviction

© Naldinho Lourenço

The International Council of Museums (ICOM), associated with ICOM Brazil, ICOM South Africa, COMCOL (ICOM International Committee for Collecting), CAMOC (ICOM International Committee for the Collections and Activities of Museums of Cities), ICME (ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography) and CECA (ICOM International Committee for Education and Cultural Action), expresses concern about the threat of eviction of the Museu da Maré in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

ICOM encourages and supports the initiative of the creation of the museum which contributed to valuing and preserving the unique identity and heritage of Maré, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro where the museum is situated, making it a model of a community museum. Ongoing speculation over the real estate market in the favelas has prompted the private company, owner of the complex of Museu da Maré, to recover its property, therefore evicting the museum from its premises.

The Museu da Maré is the result of a partnership between the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and Maré Center for Study and Solidarity (CEASM), an NGO providing educational and other services to the favela residents. It has become an international reference point in the city’s museums landscape, having received some 40,000 visitors and exerted a profound social impact on the neighborhood since its creation in 2006.

The entire constitution of the museum (collections, exhibitions, narratives) is the work of the favela’s community; the collections assemble more than 2,300 items that are linked to the life of the neighborhood. The exhibitions are a permanent claim to the right of memory, and the museum replaced the former ghetto identity with the artistic and cultural expressions of its dwellers. In 2013, the museum was acclaimed for its actions and programmes by the worldwide museum community during the 23rd ICOM General Conference in Rio de Janeiro who dedicated its theme to “Museums (Memory + Creativity) = Social Change”.

ICOM joins the “Museu da Maré resists!” movement initiated by the museum and followed by Brazilian cultural actors to stop the eviction. You can also express your support on social media using the hashtag #SOSMuseuDaMare.