Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is not only Lisbon's standout art collection but also one of the most celebrated museums in Europe. Located in a luxuriant park within the north of the city the museum is named after Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, an Armenian born British businessman and philanthropist. During his lifetime he was involved with many philanthropic activities including the establishment of schools, hospitals and churches. His private collection was bequeathed to Portugal shortly before his death in 1955 and in accordance with the terms of this endowment a foundation was created. Today the foundation is one of the largest in Europe, the fruits of 40 years of obsessive collecting. The diverse collection contains examples of Western and Eastern art, from ancient Egyptian treasures, Graeco-Roman Art, Islamic Art, European Painting and the remarkable collection of pieces of jewellery designed by René Lalique.
Just a few hundred metres North of Eduardo VII Park next to the São Sebastião Metro station the award-winning modernist buildings of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum sit harmoniously within their landscaped surroundings. The space housing the permanent exhibition was renovated in 2001, following a project designed by the architect Paul Vandebotermet whilst its exhibits found a temporary home at New York's Metropolitan Museum.