The Museu Nacional da Cultura Afro-Brasileira is Reopening

It appears. The museum is the love-child of José Carlos Capinam, better known as “Capinan” and a famous letrista (lyrics writer) from the age of Tropicália. It opened several years ago close to the Centro Histórico, seemed to run in fits and starts, closed and/or ran in diminished hours…without enough money to finish the place or keep it open full time.

Capinan in front of the ‘gradil’ in front of the museum (the gradil was designed by J. Cunha, Ilê Aiyê’s designer).

In Brazil one always wonders about the backstory one is ignorant of, construction kickbacks and money siphoning, big salaries from leaky government coffers for little or no work…but the fundamental idea behind such a museum in Bahia is a beautiful, rock-solid no brainer. There is the Museo Afro-Brasileiro in the old Medical School on the Terreiro de Jesus, but there could be so much more and this “new” museum is an opportunity for that.

The museum is housed in the old edifício do Tesouro do Estado, building of the State Treasure. I don’t know what they used to have in there but what they’ve got in there now is the REAL Bahian state treasure!
I hope these are still in there. Paintings by Heitor dos Prazers, one of the founders of samba in Rio de Janeiro. Heitor, together with Noel Rosa, composed Brazil’s best known Carnival song of all time, the marchinha Pierrot Apaixonado.

So my inside scoop is based on walking past the place and asking the guard outside what’s going on. He said the place is reopening on May 19th.

Hopefully and we’ll see.