Digital renovation of the Coa Museum

Digital renovation of the Coa Museum

Resulting from a new look at the Coa rock art, incorporating augmented and virtual reality, the aim of this renovation is to bring the societies that produced these artistic motifs closer to visitors. To questions such as “Who were the Coa artists?”, “How did they live?”, “Why Coa?” or “Why did they produce the rock art?” intuitive, pedagogical, and entertaining response clues are suggested. This project was coordinated by the Coa Parque Foundation and byAR, a partnership that ensured the production, adequacy, and relevance of selected contents, covering subjects as diverse as Archaeology and Art History or Geology and Biology.

Penascosa rock art site during the Upper Palaeolithic

In rooms A, D, E, F, and G new virtual and augmented reality devices were installed aimed at an easier reading of the Côa Valley rock art and a better understanding of the daily life of prehistoric humans, and the screening of a shortened version of the latest film by French director Jean-Luc Bouvret, “La bataille du Côa – Une leçon portugaise”, narrated by journalist Fernando Alves, with which we now honor the movement for preservation of the Côa Valley rock art, threatened in the 1990s by the construction of a dam.

Penascosa rock art site today

At the opening ceremony, the following message from the Minister Culture, Graça Fonseca, was read:

“Not being able to attend this ceremony, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Côa Parque Foundation Board of Directors and the Côa Museum team for their work in promoting the study and knowledge of rock art, and archaeological heritage and in raising awareness to the importance of preserving this heritage.
Twenty-one years ago, with the inscription of the Côa Valley Rock Art Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Portuguese State undertook to develop a policy of safeguarding the important archaeological heritage discovered in the Côa Valley. The Côa Parque Foundation and the Côa Museum have taken on this responsibility, becoming the guardians of this territory and the heritage we have the privilege of hosting, a task that they have been carrying out with commitment and diligence.
This work has been done with maturity, but also with energy. Consistent and sustained work in the updating and deepening of the content, but also innovative, as exemplified by the digital renewal that is beginning today, as well as the systematic work of technological modernization.
I wish you a great day of heritage celebration and for the Museum to continue to be the “gateway” to the Côa Valley in all its dimensions. “

We are very proud of this technological and content update since it was possible to reconcile scientific rigor with the playful enjoyment of knowledge. Lifting the tip of the veil, below you may find one of the many animations, that will bring more life to the Museum’s permanent exhibition: a mountain goat from Fariseu rock 1 projected through video mapping on the replica of that same rock present in Room E.