Total number of museums: approximately 450
(Approximately 1000 entities in Portugal call themselves museums)
Art: 84
Archeology: 43
Natural History: 8
Science: 32
Ethnography and Anthropology: 56
Specialized: 51
History: 49
Pluridisciplinary: 60
Territory: 17
Others: 5

Ownership of Museums 
State: 61
Municipalities, communities: 223
Public companies: 9
Private (companies, foundations, associations, etc.): 58
Others: 54

Directorate General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC)

Website: www.dgpc.pt
Members: 149 accredited museums

The Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) is responsible for managing the cultural heritage in mainland Portugal. Amongst its responsibilities are the management of the architectural and archaeological built heritage, including conservation works in monuments under its care; management of National Museums, World Heritage monuments and museum collections; study, research and dissemination of heritage information; conservation and restoration of movable heritage assets as well as research, dissemination of results and awareness.

DGPC is responsible for managing 23 museums and monuments, including National Museums, monuments inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and National Palaces.  Each Museum, Monument and Palace has its own team to organize visits and cultural programmes, manage, restore and conserve its collections, ensure building rehabilitation and enhancement, safety, accessibility, public attraction, education, communication and sponsorship in liaison with the central services.

Other Museum Organisations

ICOM Portugal
Website: www.icom-portugal.org

Associação Portuguesa de Museologia (APOM)
Website: www.apom.pt


Legislation and structure

All categories of museums are administrated according to the Portuguese Law on Museums which was passed in 2004. The law defines the concept of museum, identifies the museum functions, creates the accreditation system and establishes the standards and procedures of accreditation. Successful outcomes can be found in the upgrading of the 149 museums (public and private) that joined the Portuguese Network of Museums through the voluntary accreditation system.

The museums are under the supervision of ministries, local authorities, foundations and private organisations.

The State supervision of the museum system and the management of the Portuguese Network of Museums are performed by the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage, which operates under the supervision of the Minister for Culture.

Last updated January 2018