Government creates new agency and fundraising structure for Brazilian museums
José Cruz/Agência Brasil
Two new provisional measures (executive orders) signed by the federal government on Monday (10 September) created the Brazilian Museum Agency (Abram) and a legal framework to allow for the creation of equity funds and encourage private donations to projects of public interest. The proposals, which will be published in the Federal Official Gazette (DOU), aim to improve the management and conservation of the country's museums.
Per the decrees, Abram is the body that will manage Brazil's museology institutions and their collections. Created as a non-profit institution of collective and public interest, the agency is responsible for promoting the development of the sector and planning and executing programmes and actions that allow for the preservation, promotion and sustainability of the country's museological heritage.
Other responsibilities of Abram include the implementation of safety and protection actions to ensure the integrity of collections and the remodelling and reconstruction of existing facilities. The agency will operate similarly to the “S System” (Brazil's main private-public framework for the development of trade and industry), and will not be non-profit. Its funding will come from the Contribution for Intervention in the Economic Domain (Cide), a specific tax levied on certain products.
During the signing ceremony of the provisional measures, President Michel Temer stressed the importance of measures for the maintenance of Brazil's historical heritage. "Yesterday's tragedy [the fire in the National Museum] will be turned into something that will not only be devoted to the restoration of the National Museum but to the preservation of our entire historical, scientific and cultural heritage and the country's museums," he said. The National Museum remains linked to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, which will work in partnership with Abram to rebuild the facilities.
In line with international practice, the funds will be used to collect, manage and allocate donations from individuals and legal entities to programmes, projects and other public interest purposes, guaranteeing the efficient management of resources. In addition, all the money collected from the museums themselves
will be managed by Abram, who will reinvest the money in them (in the previous model, the funds went to the federal government for redistribution).
The provisional measure also establishes the rules for the formation of funds and their use in the conservation of Brazilian historical heritage. In addition to museums, the funds can also be used to support institutions related to education, science, technology, research & innovation, culture, health, environment, social assistance, and sports.