The works to clean, conserve and requalify the principal façade of the São Carlos National Theater are now concluded. The intervention has been driven by the Mirpuri Foundation, OPART partner, and brought the National Monument to its original color, blue, in a groundbreaking requalification to support and dignify culture.

The intervention was conclued on April 18th, International Day for Monuments and Sites. 

In 2018, the Organism for Artistic Production, E.P.E. (OPART) and the Mirpuri Foundation celebrated a Collaboration Protocol which contemplated, in addition to other initiatives, the support for cleaning, conserving and restoring the principal façade of the São Carlos National Theater.

This intervention, which started in October 2020, is now officially concluded. During this period, corrective and preventive works were carried out to resolve problems detected and resulting from the building’s exposure to environmental factors, lack of maintenance and human intervention.

We might recall that the Theater’s principal façade maintains its original architectural traits – the Theater was inaugurated in 1793 -, but because the building is occupied on a permanent basis, and hosts an intense amount of artistic activity, it is in need of rigorous and frequent requalification interventions.

The diagnostic carried out by specialists, in strict cooperation with the Cultural Heritage General-Directorate, enabled them to identify the need to correct the following: accumulated soiling and staining, fissures in the arcade vault, broken or eroded stone surfaces in certain zones, damaged wooden frames, oxidized ironworks and aging plaster and other materials.    

The intervention works, which are broken down into three phases – cleaning, conservation and requalification – aim to return the building’s façade to its healthy, robust and dignified state, a condition becoming of a National Monument.

The intervention would not have been possible without the Mirpuri Foundation’s support as an Exclusive OPART/TNSC Patron for the conservation and rehabilitation of the São Carlos National Theater’s principal façade.

Conceição Amaral (OPART President) said: “On this World Heritage Day, in which the monuments and sites are celebrated, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos presents its new façade. We returned to what would be the original of the beginning of its construction, in 1793, because we had the happy coincidence of finding the several layers of colour during the construction process that lasted almost 6 months. This project was developed in partnership with the Mirpuri Foundation and thanks to this support it was possible to carry out this intervention, which also encompassed some study and several teams that came together to do analyses and discuss about the original colour. And this is what we do today. We deliver to the city a new façade, with an emblematic colour. We recover this national monument, but we also contribute to bring new developments in terms of research, both in architecture and conservation and restoration. And novelty is always good to display in these days that celebrate Heritage and in which this façade can be enjoyed and this colour can be seen and appreciated by everyone. Come to S. Carlos, come see the façade, come to Chiado.”


Photo legend: Conceição Amaral (OPART President) and Paulo Mirpuri (Mirpuri Foundation President) on the day the intervention officially started, October 2020.

About the São Carlos National Theater

The São Carlos National Theater, built according to strict neo-classical characteristics with a strong Italian influence, began construction in 1792 and was inaugurated the following year. Located in the heart of the Chiado quarter, São Carlos has been center stage for some of the greatest operatic, ballet, choral and symphonic performances of both national and international repertoire. With a truly extraordinary past, São Carlos – the only operatic theater in Portugal – is today a present and vivid genuine cultural institution, loved and respected by all who appreciate the lyric arts, dance and classical music.  

About the Mirpuri Foundation

The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Portugal by businessman and philanthropist Paulo Mirpuri. Conceived with the purpose of creating a better world for future generations, the Foundation has established partnerships with governments, companies, communities and individuals in order to develop specific projects is areas ranging from culture, ocean and wildlife conservation to social responsibility, and research in the areas of medicine and aerospace.