Latest Photo Galleries
Published on 04/11/2016
Published on 11/19/2015
Brasília's masterpiece, Itamaraty Palace Turns 50
03/15/2017 - 12h53
RAUL JUSTE LORES
SPECIAL ENVOY TO BRASÍLIA
Queen Elizabeth, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and prince (and after emperor of Japan) Akihito were already welcomed in the brand-new Itamaraty Palace when the Monumental Axis of Brasilia was still semi-desert.
Protocol and security have not been lacking since the opening of the new headquarters of the Brazilian diplomacy, 50 years ago, on March 14, 1967. It defies all clichés about the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer and public buildings in Brazil.
It is functional, majestic and avoided wastage or renovation due to lack of planning. There, the master from Rio de Janeiro encountered a rare demanding public client that knew what it wanted and inspected what was build.
Initially, it would be a simple glass box, like the palaces of Alvorada and Planalto. Diplomat Wladimir Murtinho, head of the transfer committee of the Foreign Ministry to Brasilia, demanded a safer construction. Thus was born Burle Marx´s water garden, which protects the building, a typical solution in medieval castles.
How to circumvent the protocol nightmare of receptions, when a huge entourage gets lost in the queues to the elevators and some authority is left behind?
At the fourth meeting of the committee, in September 1959, a monumental staircase was requested. It emerges as a floating snail, with wide steps leading from the ground floor to the third floor, with long breaks in between, since many dignitaries are not exactly young and fit.
With 72 thousand square meters of built-up area, the Itamaraty Palace is larger than the palaces of Planalto, Alvorada, Jaburu and the Federal Supreme Court building together.
"With several ceremonial functions of State, from presidential inaugurations to receptions for heads of state visiting the country, was born as a palace, more functional than megalomaniac", reports the counselor Heitor Granafei, organizer of of the 50th anniversary's celebrations.
To celebrate the anniversary of the building, the ministry announced the restoration of a mural by Volpi and a program of furniture restoration with students to recover the original furniture.
Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE