The Miró Collection, which will remain in Porto for two and a half decades, already has the space practically ready to settle down. As a result of protocols between Porto City Hall and the Serralves Foundation, 85 artworks by the Catalan artist will be exhibited at Serralves House.
The process for the city to become the home of Joan Miró's works for 25 years began right after the opening of the exhibition “Joan Miró: Materiality and Metamorphosis”, at Serralves Villa, in 2016.
Two years later, alongside the prime minister, Rui Moreira announced the "Protocol of Cultural Promotion and Storage " that Porto City Hall had signed with the Serralves Foundation, after the Portuguese State, owner of the collection, had lend the works to the Municipality for a period of 25 years. For the mayor, this was "a good deal for the city of Porto because, in a way, we inspired the artwork's stay in Portugal".
Porto City Hall would be responsible for the cultural promotion, protection, conservation, and dissemination of the artworks, but, in the opinion of the municipality, the Foundation would be the only organisation in the city with the technical capacity to ensure all those purposes, in addition to the acknowledged and ambitious programme of exhibitions of leading artworks that it develops. At the time, Rui Moreira stated that “this decision safeguards the public and national interest”.
And so, it was agreed that the Miró Collection would remain at Serralves Villa. The same agreement set the funding for works of expansion, refurbishment and conservation of that venue in order to guarantee the conditions for the exhibition to stay, a work commissioned to the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. With the works nearing completion, Serralves Villa will be able to show the works of Joan Miró this year, as planned.
In 2020, Miró's works were designated assets of public interest. The order published in Diário da República (official gazette) stressed that the collection constituted “a heterogeneous collection of creations made over six decades, using various materials, techniques and mediums, including, among others, oils, watercolours, drawings, collages and sculptural pieces, representing an extensive and varied sample of the work by the Catalan artist".
To obtain this designation, the works had to pass through the scrutiny of the Museums, Conservation and Restoration and Intangible Heritage Section of the National Council of Culture, showing that they reflect the criteria “relating to the matrix character of the assets, to the genius of the respective creator, to the its intrinsic aesthetic and technical value, and its importance from the perspective of its historical research, the circumstances likely to cause a reduction or loss of its integrity”.