During our visit to Madeira we stayed in Funchal for few days. We stayed near Rua de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Street). We used to go there for lunch and dinner. There are several local restaurants where you can find authentic dishes. But what makes this place unique is its Painted Doors of every house. I loved to go and witness amazing painted doors in those narrow lanes where restaurants and cafes were occupying most of the spaces.
These painted doors make the area colorful, bright and fresh. Each door of the street is a master piece of art. The street is like an open art gallery. I was so curious to know the story behind these master pieces.
When I asked the local I was surprised to know that it’s a new project to revitalise the area as just few years back this area was dull, dark and lifeless.
Reason & Implementation:
Business were not running well as people started to prefer big shopping malls over narrow lanes. In 2010 José Maria Zyberchema had an idea — to have artists paint the doors of abandoned shops and homes. He asked over 100 artists, most of them were island natives, to participate in the Arte Portas Abertas project and asked to do something innovative.
João Carlos Abreu, former secretary of Tourism, gave his support to this project and local municipality helped to carry out this artistic movement. The youngest participant of that movement was only 9 years old; the oldest was 65.
In many ways it has already succeeded in achieving its goal to revitalise the area. It was a dark, badly referenced part of the city and now it is blooming with restaurants and tourists and life. The street is not just a thoroughfare or the location of somewhere to eat – it is now something to enjoy and savour in its own right.