Postcard from Lisboa, Portugal: Billionaire Berardo shares a wealth of art

Anyone who has got power or a bit of money should contribute to the preservation of culture.

Jose Berardo, “In Lisbon, Sowing the Seeds of Culture,” Seth Sherwood, The New York Times, February 18, 2011

Born in Madeira, Jose Berardo has a “gold finger.” The self-made billionaire started out diving into all-night club scenes in South Africa before settling down to make his fortune through trading in gold, diamonds, paper, finance and almost everything else he touched.

His wealth fueled his urge to collect compulsively. And a portion of the results can be seen at the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Belen Cultural Center. A rarity: entry to the collection is admission-free.

The placement of the huge Belen Cultural Center, built in 1992 to host Portugal’s term as head of the European Union, was controversial. The massive modern structure shares the same sweeping plaza as the ancient Church and Monastery of Jeronimos. But the plaza is enormous, and great care was taken to preserve the viewshed of the landmark. And, unlike San Antonio’s slow process in the reuse of HemisFair, the calendar of the Cultural Center is packed with theatrical, musical and art events.

So here goes another download overload of postdated postcards from Lisboa.

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2 thoughts on “Postcard from Lisboa, Portugal: Billionaire Berardo shares a wealth of art”

  1. I’m surprised that San Antonio doesn’t use the former site of the World’s Fair in so many ways with as much tourism as it has!


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