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Portugal parliament slams ‘insulting’ dictator museum

Portugal’s parliament has voted to denounce a planned museum dedicated to ex-dictator Antonio Salazar, branding it an “affront to democracy”.

The mayor of Salazar’s hometown of Santa Comba Dao in central Portugal, Leonel Gouveia, announced the plan to create the museum last month.

Critics said the museum could attract sympathisers of the despot who ruled Portugal with an iron fist for more than three decades.

Portugal’s left-wing majority parliament said Wednesday that the museum — the re-purposing of a school next to Salazar’s former home — would be an “insult to the memory of victims of the dictatorship”.

Parliament asked “all public and private entities not to support the project directly or indirectly”.

Salazar rose to power in 1932 following a military coup four years earlier, and ruled until 1968.

A military uprising toppled his “New State” regime in 1974, putting an end to 13 years of colonial wars in Africa.

It is not the first time authorities in Santa Comba Dao have come under fire for publicising the town’s links to the dictator.

In 2012, then mayor Joao Lourenco lost a bid to have a wine called “Salazar’s Memories” registered as a trademark.