Portuguese General Direction of Cultural Heritage (PT)

The Direção-Geral do Património Cultural (DGPC) (http://www.patrimoniocultural.pt/) is responsible for managing the cultural heritage in mainland Portugal. A large team covering virtually all technical and scientific areas is based in Lisbon (central services) and in museums and monuments located in Lisbon, Mafra, Alcobaça, Batalha, Tomar, Coimbra and Porto. Amongst their responsibilities are the management of the architectural and archaeological built heritage – in urban and rural areas –, including conservation works in monuments; management of National Museums, World Heritage monuments and museum collections; study, research and dissemination of heritage information; conservation and restoration of movable heritage assets as well as research, dissemination of results and awareness raising about heritage protection issues.

The following are the three main action areas:

  • Knowledge, conservation, enhancing and dissemination of the architectural, archaeological, movable and intangible heritage, as well as development and implementation of the national museum policy.
  • Management of monuments and museums under their care, including monuments inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
  • Permanent liaison with public and private entities, in Portugal and abroad, in areas ranging from legal effect measures to supervision, scientific research, education and training and land use planning.

The Direção-Geral:

  • Has set down guidelines and a strategic plan for implementation of national policies in the cultural heritage area, having a standard-setting, regulatory and supervisory role.
  • Defines rules and procedures and take binding decisions in areas concerning safeguarding, conserving, restoring and enhancing movable and immovable cultural heritage (and the latter’s protection areas), including museum practices and protection of the intangible heritage.
  • Has operation mechanisms to ensure the protection of the cultural heritage.
  • Has developed a pedagogical action by defining methodologies and procedures for cultural heritage interventions and by monitoring, technically supervising and adopting, whenever necessary, all the procedures established by law for heritage protection.
  • Participate in environmental impact assessment procedures and in the development of territorial management tools.
  • Has a say regarding public and private interventions on cultural heritage that has been listed, is awaiting listing or is located in special protection zones; and also a supervisory role having the right to stop any works that are found to be in breach of applicable rules.
  • Defines the requirements of and ensure compliance with standards for accrediting museums within the Portuguese Museums Network.
  • Authorise archaeological works, monitor their implementation, including probing and excavating in nautical and underwater environments, and also ensure supervision within the Archaeological Works Regulation.
  • Monitor the movement of works of art and establish cooperation with public and private entities to prevent illicit traffic of cultural property.
  • Promote the safeguarding of intangible heritage by supporting programmes aimed at protecting expressions of culture transmitted by oral tradition, traditional techniques and know-how and also graphic, sound and audio-visual materials with non-physical support.

Role in the Project

DGPC will collaborate in the definition of Recommendations for Policies and Government processes, since it is a government organization involved in the development of guidelines and strategic plans for implementation of national policies in the cultural heritage area.

On the other hand, DGPC will be, in Portugal, the logically consignee of the methods studied and defined during the project, since it is the national organization in charge of cultural heritage management, safeguarding and enhancement.

DGPC will lead WP2 Recommendations for Policies and Government processes and mainly participate to WP1 Fundamentals, Methodologies, and Processes.