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Angra do Heroísmo ,  December 06, 2018

Recovery of movable whaling heritage in the Azores is worldwide "example," says Regional Director for Culture

The Regional Director for Culture stated in Lajes do Pico that the recovery of the movable whaling heritage, boats and tow boats carried out in the Azores is one of the most notable worldwide examples concerning the rehabilitation of naval heritage at the service of communities.
"It intends to celebrate the Portuguese Atlantic dimension as well as honour the importance of the sea and boats in the insular experience and establishment of the archipelago's identity, namely through the so-called 'Azoreanity,'" said Susana Costa.
The Regional Director spoke Wednesday on the sidelines of the meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Azores Whaling Heritage. On the occasion, she stressed that the whaling activity, carried out in the Azores for over a century using traditional techniques, has left its "mark on architecture, genetics and Azorean civilisation. It is also present in the collective imagination, from the elites to the humblest Azorean communities."
Susana Costa mentioned that whaling, with the extinction of the hunting, has become a "memory activity explained at museums." According to her, the "new whalers" have seized the "most significant part of nautical tourism in the Azores, through whale watching, and the sperm whale became the symbol of Azorean identity."
Whaling heritage consists of property and movable assets that "express its grandeur," with special emphasis on whaling boats and their respective gear. It faced the risk of being lost as it had been laid up since 1987, when the whaling ban was enforced in Portugal. In this regard, Susana Costa recalled that the Regional Government has adopted "policies aimed at recovering, revitalising and reusing this heritage for cultural, sporting, recreational, tourism and environmental education purposes."
These measures, coupled with the growing efforts and the motivation of local populations, through nautical clubs, municipalities, community and citizens' associations, have contributed to the recovery of a vast heritage in the Region, said the Regional Director.
In this context, the Regional Secretariat for Education and Culture, through the Regional Directorate for Culture, has organised the meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Azores Whaling Heritage in order to carry out the annual assessment of applications for the preservation, safeguarding and promotion of the Region's whaling heritage.
This committee is chaired by the Director of Pico Museum, who is also responsible for the Whaling Museum and the Whaling Industry Museum. It is also composed of a representative from each of the entities promoting activities towards the revitalisation of this heritage, two representatives from the Association of Municipalities of the Autonomous Region of Madeira and three personalities of recognised merit linked to the whaling history and activity.
This entity is responsible for outlining the future of whaling heritage as a living part of the communities where this legacy is present as well as to determine the areas where public funds will be invested towards the preservation of this heritage.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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