In May 1995, during the troubled period of the struggle for the preservation of the Côa Valley rock art, many initiatives were initiated, many voices were heard, public figures – political and artistic, who joined this cause. The publisher Assírio & Alvim, for its unique characteristics, was, at the time, one of those centers that aggregated ideas, debates and initiatives.
And it was precisely there, in the bookstore on Rua Passos Manuel, in Lisbon, that the challenge of this exhibition arose, “Tribute to the Côa Valley Rock Art”. The unbelievable group of artists who joined and immediately embraced the idea, and their generosity – the works were offered for sale and with their sale, develop new initiatives – shows well the degree of involvement in the struggle to defend the rock art.
The initiative, which had the name of Artists for Foz Côa, joined Mário Cesariny, Lourdes Castro, Ilda David, Julião Sarmento, Rui Chafes, Pedro Proença, Graça Morais, José Pedro Croft, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Fernando Calhau, Alberto Carneiro, Gerardo Burmester, Albuquerque Mendes, Rui Sanches, Pedro Calapez, Mike Biberstein, Manuel Zimbro, Ângelo de Sousa and the master tapestry artist Gisela Santi.
It is these works, acquired at that time by Emílio Mesquita, that we can see, in a rerun of the original exhibition, from March 14 in the Côa Museum, to celebrate the 20 years of the discovery of the engravings, which fortunately never needed to learn to swim.