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Cultural Activities Revitalize Historical Center of Salvador

01/04/2018 - 11h35

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JÚLIA ZAREMBA
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT FROM SALVADOR

It's not just drums beating in the Pelourinho, the historical center of Salvador.

Jazz concerts at the San Francisco Church, lunch accompanied by artistic performances and a musical inspired by books from author Jorge Amado are just some of the attractions featured in the Pelourinho Dia e Noite, a series of free-to-the-public cultural activities being held in the historical center of Salvador, Bahia.

The programming, which started in October, is aimed at attracting local residents, since there "is a certain preconceived attitude about the area", said Eliana Pedroso, managing director of the historical center for the City's Cultural and Tourism Secretariat.

"We want to energize Bahia residents and incentivize more initiatives and investment in the region, which is a cultural haven", Pedroso said.

Churches are being used inside as staging areas for orchestras and musical groups. The Sanbone Pagode Orchestra performance, for example, filled up the nearly 150 seats at the Church of the San Francisco Convent.

The 18th Century Baroque structure is classified as one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World, a title bestowed in 2009 by the Portuguese Education and Cultural Ministries. Starting in January, the concerts will be held outdoors in the open air beside the churches.

CHALLENGES

Anyone visiting Pelourinho will almost certainly hear the warning "Beware of thieves".

Warding off thieves and dealing with the chemically dependent who inhabit the locale are challenges still being confronted by the government. "This is far from a perfect place, but the image of insecurity that has been created is greater than the real problem that actually exists", says Pedroso.

According to Pedroso, at the beginning of last year authorities started mapping out areas in the locale with inadequate security - such as areas with poor illumination or a high incidence of robberies. Based upon this, security guards who work in Pelorinho have been reassigned and relocated.

*The reporter travelled at the invitation of Salvador's City Hall and Salvador Destination, an association of local businesses.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress
Churches are being used inside as staging areas for orchestras and musical groups
Churches are being used inside as staging areas for orchestras and musical groups

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