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Museum Shaped Like Flying Saucer in Minas Gerais May End Up Without Purpose

08/18/2015 - 09h24

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JOSÉ MARQUES
FROM BELO HORIZONTE

A building shaped like a flying saucer in Varginha, Minas Gerais, which has already cost more than R$1 million (US$287,000) and is two years behind schedule, may end up without any official purpose. Varginha became famous nearly twenty years ago after a supposed alien landing.

The city government says it is aiming to finish the work this year, but it lacks the funds to equip the space envisioned ten years ago as the "ET Museum".

Mayor Antônio Silva (PTB) dreams of an observatory and a space dedicated to ufology (the study of UFOs). However, with money tight, he is considering the possibility of transforming the flying saucer into the headquarters of the tourism ministry.

"It's a remote hypothesis. We can't lose sight of the main issue, which is the case of the alien landing," he says. He complains that the "situation of the municipalities is very difficult" and says he cannot predict when the building will be up and running.

The Ministry of Tourism, which made R$828,000 available in 2007 (R$1.3 million or US$373,000, in today's values), says that the agreement with the city government is for the construction of a museum. Any changes to this purpose are prohibited and the money would have to be returned.

For its part, the city government says it has invested R$440,000 (US$126,000).

Work did not begin on the project for three years after the agreement was signed, and it came to a halt in 2011. It was due to be opened in 2013, but work was only resumed last year.

The city is spending three times the value it aims to spend on sanitation this year on the museum's structure alone. However, even the opposition believes that the work will help to promote tourism and local culture.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

Read the article in the original language

Divulgação/Prefeitura de Varginha
A building shaped like a flying saucer in Varginha, which has already cost more than R$1 million, may end up without purpose
A building shaped like a flying saucer in Varginha, which has already cost more than R$1 million, may end up without purpose

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