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On top of the Cultural administration in Portugal is the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry oversees several directorates and public institutions competent over the performing arts, visual arts, built and movable heritage, bibliography and archives, cinema and audiovisual media, libraries and reading-related activities. In total, the Minister of Culture has tutelage over 32 bodies.

In international grounds, however, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shares the task of promoting Portuguese culture through the Camões Institute, encouraging the learning of the Portuguese language and culture. Also, the Ministry of Education is charged with supervising the artistic teaching abroad.
Culture-related media are, on the other hand, independent and have no connection to any governmental body.

Other institutions have developed their own cultural centres and do a great deal of work promoting culture internally and abroad. The University of Coimbra, per example, is very active in this matter, owning a very rich artistic heritage and supporting most of the cultural activities in Coimbra and its area of influence.

Portugal has also two autonomous communities, Madeira and Azores, with their own regional governments, with tutelage over regional cultural administration. Azores, with only 241 743 inhabitants is place of two UNESCO’s World Heritage sites: the islands of Pico and Angra do Heroísmo.

At the local level, many municipal authorities take pride in the intensive task of preserving heritage and some, being of very small dimension, achieve a very dynamic cultural environment. Évora and Guimarães are good examples of that, this last city becoming in 2012 one of the European Capitals of Culture.

At a private level, the most recognizable wide-spectrum foundation in the cultural field is the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation based in Lisbon, but other foundations, art galleries, antiquarians, cinema agents and hundreds of cultural societies (theatre groups, dance agencies, choirs, clubs, art centers, etc.) help promote cultural life everywhere, be it in small villages be it in the major cities of Lisbon and Oporto.

In Portugal there are 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites:

Centro Histórico de Angra do Heroísmo / Açores (1983)
Mosteiro da Batalha / Batalha (1983)
Convento de Cristo / Tomar (1983)
Torre de Belém / Lisboa (1983) e Mosteiro dos Jerónimos / Lisboa (1983)
Centro histórico de Évora / Évora (1986)
Mosteiro de Alcobaça / Alcobaça (1989)
Paisagem cultural de Sintra (1995)
Centro histórico do Porto (1996)
Locais da arte rupestre pré-histórica do vale de Côa / Foz Côa (1998)
Floresta Laurissilva / Ilha da Madeira (1999)
Alto Douro Vinhateiro (2001)
Centro Histórico de Guimarães (2001)
Paisagem da Vinha da Ilha do Pico (2004)

Other links:

Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal
Centro Cultural de Belém - CCB
Centro Nacional de Cultura
Companhia Nacional de Bailado
Direcção-Geral das Artes
Direcção-Geral de Arquivos (Torre do Tombo)
Directório Cultural Português)
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Fundação de Serralves
Fundação Dr. António Cupertino de Miranda
Fundação Oriente
Gabinete de Planeamento, Estratégia, Avaliação e Relações Internacionais
Instituto Camões
Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico
Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual
Instituto dos Museus e da Conservação
Ministério da Cultura
Matriz: colecções on-line dos museus portugueses
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
Museu Nacional Machado de Castro
Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
Teatro Nacional de S. Carlos
Teatro Nacional de S. João
Universidade de Coimbra

Last update: 18-04-2008