0065 Art and Politics in the Former "Portuguese Colonial Empire"

The Monument to Mouzinho de Albuquerque in Lourenço Marques

  • Gerbert Verheij (Author)
    Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Belles Arts

    Gerbert Verheij graduated from Universidade Nova de Lisboa with a degree in Art History. His M.A. thesis centred on public sculpture in the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique during the 1930s-1940s. At the moment he is doing PhD research on the place of sculpture in public space in the early twentieth century at the Polis Research Centre, Universitat de Barcelona, with a scholarship from the FCT/Ministry of Education and Science (Portugal).

Identifiers (Article)


In 1940, a monument to Mouzinho de Albuquerque is inaugurated in the former capital of the Portuguese Colony of Mozambique, Lourenço Marques. The result of a lenghty commissioning process, this homage to one of the main heroes of the colonial pantheon becomes a center-piece in the many political rituals which had become common-place during the 1930s. The concepts of aura and cult value are used to analyse its "traditionalist" aesthetics and the role it played in political spectacles, arguing that it obeys a strategy of representation of the public space as "Empire".


Public sculpture, Mozambique, Lourenço Marque, Monument to Mouzinho de Albuquerque, Estado Novo