By Arkady Petrov
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The São Paulo Museum of Art (Masp), a landmark venue used as a meeting point for demonstrations on Avenida Paulista, requested help from the São Paulo City Council to protect the structure.
In a four-page document submitted to the Sé Submayoralty, the museum board claimed that the overload, caused by crowds that often fill the open-air space of Masp, is a danger to the public, the building, and its heritage.
A restaurant, an exhibition area and an auditorium are located under the large slab. Submayoralty officials say they will examine the document this week.
The suspended building, designed by Lina Bo Bardi in the 1960s, is one of Brazil’s architecture icons and one of São Paulo’s most admired postcard settings.
The museum is internationally recognized for its collection of European art, considered the finest in Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere.
The open-air space spans 70 meters between one pillar and another and the point overlooking Avenida 9 de Julho welcomes visitors daily.
In the document, Masp reports that on May 15th, when protester gathered on the span area, “it was necessary to close the museum for safety reasons and a commotion occurred.”
The text also mentions that the structure has limitations and recommends the reduction of activities in this area.
Masp explained in graphs and tables attached to the document forwarded to the City Council that while 27 people crossing an area of 10 square meters is tolerable, and standing groups of up to 28 people are still acceptable, 42 people pose a risk, and 57 people over an area of 10 square meters should never be allowed.
In 1992, the first time the discussion of the structure of the free span became public was when 20,000 people gathered at the venue to watch a concert by Daniela Mercury.
Back then, the museum alerted that when a crowd is walking, jumping or dancing, the overload on the concrete slab increases.