MAY 18-31, 2017
The ICOM theme for the International Museum Day 2017 — “Museums and Controversial Stories: Saying the Unspeakable in the Museum” — was addressed by MASF based on the (re)flexion of the roles that the basic functions of the museum (study and research, the incorporation, conservation, security, interpretation, exhibition and education) occupy in the construction of a transformative museum, where a permanent interrogation is its key place.

Rethinking the problems, methodologies and practices in the area of Preventive Conservation as a priority area within the Sacred Art Museum was the motto for the design of a small exhibition, held in partnership with the Museum of Natural History of Funchal, which temporarily loaned some specimens from its entomology collection.

Constituting a meeting between art and science, the exhibition sought to explain certain biological threats to which our collections are subject, and the strategies and investments necessary to combat them. Making the insects part of the vast set of organisms and microorganisms, whose presence in a museum context can be detrimental to the conservation of both collections and buildings, and may even constitute a pest, they were nicknamed, in the title of this exhibition, “Unwanted Visitors”.

Also included in this programme, a round table entitled “The importance of integrated pest control” was held on 22 May, with the aim of discussing one of the most important, although less visible, roles of the work of museums, which has to do with the biological threats to collections and the strategies/investments required to combat them. Four speakers participating in the discussion were: a director of an art museum, a graphic document technician, an entomologist and a representative of a pest control company, respectively: Teresa Pais (Quinta das Cruzes Museum), Dina Noite (Archive and Regional Public Library of Madeira), Ysabel Gonçalves (Natural History Museum of Madeira) and Angelino Pina (Rentokill Company). Also in the framework of the International Museum Day, there was an exhibition at the MASF: “Unexpected Objects: Shadow Narratives.”