In an exhibition laden with symbolism, Brazil on Monday marked the anniversary of the far-right riots that rocked the capital a year ago by displaying artworks, antique furniture and other objects vandalized in the attacks.
Here is a look at the exhibit and the work undertaken to fix — or not — the scars left when thousands of supporters of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the presidential palace, Congress and Supreme Court that day.
– ‘Marks of history’ –
The works are on display in the “Green Room” of the lower house of Congress, one of the three buildings by modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer that rioters trashed on January 8, 2023.
Thirty photographs of the day’s destruction are also on display.
The lower house said in a statement some damaged objects would not be repaired but “will intentionally be left with the marks of history.”
“Artworks live in time and go through various things, which we record and sometimes decide to leave. January 8 is a part of history. These works bear witness to that day,” Aline Rabello, head of restoration work for the lower house, told newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
– Vases, ostrich egg –
The pieces include the fragments of a gold and porcelain vase given to Brazil by China in 2012, and another vase gifted by Hungary in 2011.
Both were shattered during the riots. Some of the pieces were never found.
An engraved ostrich egg given by Sudan in 2012 to then lower house speaker Marco Maia is also on display — with missing pieces, as well.
At a ceremony to mark the anniversary Monday, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who narrowly beat Bolsonaro in Brazil’s bitterly divisive 2022 elections, will present a restored tapestry by iconic Brazilian artist and landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx.
Rioters ripped it from a wall in the Senate, tore it and urinated on it.
– Millions in costs –
Some of the worst destruction took place at the Supreme Court, a frequent target of outrage from the far-right over its investigations into alleged crimes by Bolsonaro.
Authorities registered 951 items stolen, broken or destroyed in the high court.
The cost of restoring its main chamber reached 12 million reais ($2.4 million), the court said.
The lower house reportedly restored 54 of the 64 objects vandalized there, including a giant mosaic by Brazilian master Athos Bulcao, at a cost of more than $280,000.
At the Senate, where some 20 works were damaged, a spokesperson told AFP that restoring one iconic painting alone — a sprawling depiction of the signing of the Brazilian republic’s first constitution, by 19th-century artist Gustavo Hastoy — will cost around $163,000.