How to commemorate Portugal's dictator?
A museum is being built in the birthplace of António de Oliveira Salazar to commemorate the former Portuguese dictator. In 1933 he declared the Estado Novo, a repressive state that was not abolished until 1974 with the Carnation Revolution. Critics fear that it will become a place of pilgrimage for fascists and have launched a petition to stop the construction. Portugal's media are also highly critical of the museum.
Público fears a new wave of admiration for the dictator:
“The greatest danger of this initiative is the way the dictator is dealt with in the museum. The subtext of everything that the (socialist!) mayor of Santa Comba says is that the village is duty bound to honour its 'great men' or 'statesmen'. And this is being done in the places where Salazar spent his childhood, in the microcosm of the village, which reaches from the school to the chapel and the graveyard. So all we can expect from this 'interpretation centre' [as the museum is called] is a downplaying and normalising homage to Salazar in an environment dominated by the standardised values that he always defended.”
Not just a son of the country
For writer Valter Hugo Mãe commenting in Jornal de Notícias it is uncceptable to establish a museum at the birthplace of the former dictator:
“Evildoers should be remembered at the sites where they murdered people and where they died. These are the events that should be commemorated. ... There is no truth in saying that it is a democratic freedom to cultivate the memory of Salazar as a 'son of this country'. It is shameless... It trivilalises a regime that murdered, tortured, lied, stole money from and spiritually impoverished the Portuguese and all the peoples the Portuguese believed they owned. ”