Gulbenkian – it’s a Lisboom
Text Carlo Mazzoni
He was called Mr. Five Per Cent, because he had the right to demand his five percent on oil transactions. CalousteGulbenkian, Persian origin, fell in love with Lisbon and left a collection of furniture, paintings and pieces of art there. He built a building and established the FundaçãoCalousteGulbenkian, which reminds you how Lisbon is not the decadent city you fall in love with in the alleys of the Alfama. Do not miss to visit it: a majolica of blue daisies from the Middle Ages in Turkey is the matrix of all Lampoon aesthetics, white petals rise like branches of the Euphrates – while in a secluded room, there are the pieces of Lalique. A collection which contains the essence of a city and its projection into the future.
Collectors are individuals who buy objects of the widest variety – they do not choose them with a destination, they look for them because they appear aesthetically and intellectually relevant to them. During golden and rose ages, the figure of the collector populates the humanistic years of Renaissance preparation. Lorenzo the Magnificent before the Renaissance, Winckelmann before the Neoclassicism, Charles Ephrussi before the electric revolution, CalousteGulbenkian before the United Europe. These are generalizations – but they are used to consider how the figure of the collector is crucial for the cultural and social evolution of a city.
Nowadays we talk about Lisboom – a term appeared on Artribune. The 3s generation – startuppers, students and surfers. Lisbon is a new Berlin. Residences, immigration are regulated so that many non-European foreigners, mainly from China, bring their current accounts to Portuguese banks. Tax conditions are beneficial for retirees, homes are cheaper – Mario Centeno, Minister of Finance, has been called to the presidency of the Eurogroup. Visit the Gulbenkiann, look for collections in the world – you will find all the energy you need.
Image from Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation