A significant part of the artistic, historical and architectural collection of the Palácio do Planalto was vandalized this Sunday (8/1) by the terrorist attacks that took place in Praça dos Três Poderes, in Brasília. According to the Planalto Communications Secretariat, “it is still not possible to have a detailed survey” of everything that was destroyed, but the agency released some of the damaged works that it was able to identify. Notable among them are the screen the mulattas (1962), by Di Cavalcanti, the sculpture the flutist (1950s), by Bruno Giorgi, and a wooden wall sculpture by Frans Krajcberg, from the 1970s. The three were on the third floor of the building.
Di Cavacalnti's canvas was torn in at least seven points by the coup plotters. According to dealer Luiz Danielian, “currently a work of this size could be sold for R$ 15 to 20 million”. Between September and October last year, he organized the exhibition Di Cavalcanti – 125 years, at Danielian Galeria, in Rio de Janeiro. Giorgi's work, made of bronze and valued at BRL 250, "was found completely destroyed, with pieces scattered throughout the hall", according to Secom. Estimated at BRL 300, Krajcberg's sculpture, in turn, was broken at several points. The work was made with wooden branches, which were broken and scattered.
Last night, Rogério Carvalho, Director of Curatorship of the Presidential Palaces, released an audio with his first impressions regarding the attacks on the Planalto Palace (listen below). Carvalho highlighted the severity of the vandalism he witnessed, especially on the second floor of the building, “practically turned inside out”. In addition to the major damage caused to architecture, glass, doors and coverings to wainscoting. “Fortunately, they couldn't access the President's office,” he says.
Carvalho also highlighted the destruction of a historic piece, a rPendulum eulogium by Balthazar Martinot, from the 17th century, a gift from the French Court to Dom João 6th. According to Secom's statement, Martinot was Louis XIV's watchmaker and there are only two watches by this author. “The other is on display at the Palace of Versailles, but it is half the size of the piece that was completely destroyed by the Plateau invaders. The value of this piece is considered out of standard”.
Still according to Secom, on the ground floor, thea Brazil's flag (1995), by Jorge Eduardo, which reproduces the national flag hoisted in front of the palace, “was found floating on the water that flooded the entire floor, after vandals opened the fire hydrants installed there”. On the same floor, the former presidents' gallery was completely destroyed, "with all the photographs removed from the wall, thrown to the ground and broken". On the second floor, the The corridor that gives access to the ministries' rooms has "many erased or broken pictures, especially photographs".
On social media, Margareth Menezes, Minister of Culture, said that she received from President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva the task that the MinC, together with Iphan, carry out “the evaluation and information of the destruction committed in the buildings of the Planalto Palace, National Congress , Federal Supreme Court and other listed spaces”. There is a meeting scheduled for today (9/1), at 16 pm, between the two bodies.
There are rumors, not yet confirmed, that the sculpture The dancer, by Victor Brecheret, which was in the Chamber of Deputies building, would have been stolen. The polished bronze work by Brecheret, originally executed for the decoration of the São Paulo Jockey Club, according to the art dealer Max Perlingeiro, by Pinakotheke Cultural, is worth around R$800. Still in the Chamber, the stained glass window would also have been damaged. Araguaia, by Marianne Peretti, author of the stained glass windows in the cathedral of Brasília. In the building of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), there are rumors of the destruction of the bust of Ruy Barbosa, a crucifix and graffiti on the sculpture The Justice, by Alfredo Ceschiatti.
For Rogério Carvalho, in a statement released by Secom, “the value of what was destroyed is incalculable because of the history it represents. The collection as a whole represents all the presidents who represented the Brazilian people during this long period that begins with JK”.