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By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In celebration of Rio de Janeiro’s 450th anniversary and in an effort to increase museum attendance throughout the city, the “passaporte” (passport) initiative is distributing small commemorative booklets that grant free access to 43 museums and cultural centers located in and around Rio de Janeiro.

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The Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) is one of the 43 institutions participating in the new passport program, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

Sponsored by the city of Rio de Janeiro in partnership with the Instituto Brasileiro de Museus (IBRAM), the museum passport initiative officially began on Tuesday, April 11th and the distributed passports will be valid for the duration of the city’s 450th anniversary, expiring on December 31st.

Available for use by both locals and tourists, a passport will grant the holder one free entry to each the 43 museums and cultural sites included in the program. Each site has specified what days of the week the passports can be used and at each location, visitors will have their passport stamped upon entry.

“The idea is to make [the passport] a personal memory item. We want people to keep it as a souvenir and for it to hopefully serve as a stimulus for people to visit Rio museums,” President of IBRAM, Carlos Roberto Brandão told O Globo.

Six locations are currently distributing the passports: Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Museu da República, Museu Imperial, Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR), Museu Aeroespacial and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB).

While entry to many of the participating museums has always been free, organizers stress that the program’s main goal is to encourage interest in Rio’s many and varied museums and cultural centers. Additionally to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Rio de Janeiro, participating museums were asked to feature, when possible, exhibitions that celebrate the city.

The complete list of participating museums:
Biblioteca Nacional
Casa Daros
Casa do Patrimônio Ferroviário do Rio de Janeiro (formally the Museu do Trem)
Casa do Pontal
Casa França Brasil
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil – Rio de Janeiro
Centro Cultural Correios
Centro Cultural Municipal Oduvaldo Vianna Filho (Castelinho do Flamengo)
Centro Cultural Municipal Parque das Ruínas
Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica
Memorial Municipal Getúlio Vargas
Museu Aeroespacial
Museu Bispo do Rosário
Museu Casa da Hera
Museu Casa de Benjamin Constant
Museu Casa de Rui Barbosa
Museu Chácara do Céu
Museu da Justiça do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
Museu da Maré
Museu da República
Museu da Vida
Museu de Arte do Rio
Museu de Arte Moderna
Museu de Astronomia e Ciências Afins
Museu de Ciências da Terra
Museu de Favela
Museu de Folclore Edison Carneiro
Museu do Índio
Museu do Meio Ambiente
Museu Histórico da Fortaleza de São João
Museu Histórico do Exército e Forte de Copacabana
Museu Histórico Nacional
Museu Imagens do Inconsciente
Museu Imperial
Museu Militar Conde de Linhares
Museu Nacional
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes
Museu Naval
Museu Villa-Lobos
Museus Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maya – Museu do Açude
Paço Imperial
Palácio Tiradentes
Sítio Roberto Burle Marx

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