Sao Paulo museum offers blind visitors ways to experience art

World Today

Museums give the public a glimpse of history and culture, but that’s a challenge for the visually-impaired. One exhibit in Sao Paulo hopes to change that by putting the museums pieces at their fingertips.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Don’t touch signs are common in museums around the world, but not in Sao Paulo’s Inclusion Memorial. The pieces are meant to be touched. It’s a particular benefit for the blind who can visualize bits of Brazilian history through their fingers.

For example, the best known painting in the museum depicts Brazil’s Independence. It’s found in most history textbooks used in schools. Now it can be seen by the blind through an embossed plate.

The exhibit uses actual items and replicas from the Sao Paulo Historic Museum collection. It includes many objects related to daily life in the 19th century. It also uses small scale models of the museum’s building.

The special sensorial exhibit organized by the musuem is a different way to get in touch with Brazil’s history. It also gives the visually-impaired an idea of what’s in the museum’s collection, since its main building is closed for renovation.

The museum building was inaugurated in 1890 and closed in 2013 after an inspection detected severe structural damage. It’s expected to reopen to the public in 2020, after a renovation. The bulk of the collection is made up of items from the second half of the 19th century.