Marcelo comes to Faro “inaugurate” mosaic of the Ocean God as National Treasure

Almost three months after the announcement, the plaque is unveiled at the Museum of Faro

The President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will inaugurate, on the 19th of August, the plaque of National treasure in the Roman mosaic of the Ocean God, in the Museum of Faro, found the Sul Informação.

When visiting Faro, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the Head of State is also expected to visit the Folk folklore festivalFaro, which runs from the 18th to the 26th of August.

The Roman mosaic of the Ocean God, from the Museum of Faro, was recognized as National Treasury, on May 3, at a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

This is the first museological piece under Évora to deserve this distinction, something that Rogério Bacalhau, president of the Chamber of Faro, said to be "a pride".

Marco Lopes, director of the Museum of Faro, explained at the time to the Sul Informação, that «the classification as National Treasure is the maximum recognition that a museological piece can reach, in Portugal».

"The fact that we now have one in the museum increases our responsibility, but also our protagonism, which, from now on, is more than local and regional, it is national," he said.

Roman Mosaic Room of the Ocean God

Discovered in 1926, between Rua Infante D. Henrique and Rua Ventura Coelho, in Faro, the mosaic was then reburied again, only to be rediscovered again in 1976, during construction works.

Dating back to the end of the XNUMXnd century or beginnings of the XNUMXrd AD, it would be part of a public building related to maritime activities, perhaps the headquarters of a professional corporation (school). The sponsors of the mosaic inscribed on it, for eternity, their names, as was common in Roman society.

The head of Oceano is treated as a mask and the association of the Winds (Euro and Boreas) – which personify the natural forces – with the head of Oceano is not the most frequent in the representations of the god (Lancha, 1985:117).

All the iconography and other decoration present in this mosaic, as well as the inscription of the names of the sponsors, in addition to indicating the North African origin of its executors, constitute a whole program of affirmation of a city and its socio-economic vitality; a city that lived off seafood and its preparations and exported a little to the entire empire.

Hence the central theme of this mosaic: Ocean, father of all waters, which gives rise to the Winds, whose breath favors navigation and commerce. Cosmology and human geography inspire this mosaic and not mythology or scenography (Lancha, 1985:119,120).


LANCHA, J.(1985) "The "Ocean" Mosaic discovered in Faro (Algarve)”. Proceedings of the Municipality of Faro🇧🇷 Vol.XV. Faro🇧🇷 p.111-124.