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Final day in Portugal

On the final day of their State Visit to Portugal, Their Majesties the King and Queen travelled to the city of Porto. King Harald took part in a seminar on Norwegian-Portuguese cooperation on cancer research, while Queen Sonja visited the Serralves Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art.

31.05.2008

The city of Porto lies at the mouth of the Douro River, and is the second largest city in Portugal. The city is an important finance centre, and the surrounding district is one of the most highly industrialised in all of Portugal. One of Portugal’s best known products, port wine, is named for the city because it was originally shipped out of this area.

Cancer research cooperation

In the morning, King Harald opened the seminar “Research and Innovation in Cancer, the Oslo-Porto Cooperation”, at the Institute for Molecular Pathology and Immunology (IPATIMUP) and the University of Porto. In his speech, the King stressed the importance of international collaboration in the effort to fight cancer.

There is extensive cooperation between Norway and Portugal in the field of cancer medicine. Since the 1990s, a number of different groups at the Norwegian Radium Hospital have worked closely together with IPATIMUP. These efforts have resulted in a number of completed doctoral degrees and more than 60 scientific articles published in various international journals.

Currently a project focusing on early diagnostics is underway, primarily targeted toward breast cancer, uterine cancer and cancer of the thyroid gland. Norwegian and Portuguese researchers are pooling their efforts to enhance the quality of early diagnostics.

The former director of the Norwegian Radium Hospital, Dr Jan Vincent Johannessen, gave a presentation of the Portuguese-Norwegian collaboration, after which the King toured one of the research laboratories.

Museu do Serralves

Queen Sonja visited the Museu do Serralves (Serralves Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art), and received a guided tour from the museum’s director, Dr. João Fernandes. The Museu do Serralves has one of Portugal’s most renowned collections of contemporary art. The museum places special focus on dissemination activities designed to enhance the public’s interest in contemporary art, and to cultivate projects with emerging artists.

Visit with the Mayor of Porto

The King and Queen then attended an official reception in the Porto City Hall, where they were officially greeted by the Mayor of Porto, Mr Rui Rio, and the head of the City Council, Mr José Pedro Aguiar-Branco. Their Majesties greeted the members of the City Council and members of the Norwegian community living in the area around Porto during the reception.

Cruise on the Douro

The State Visit concluded with a luncheon onboard a “barco rabelo” on the Douro River. Some 700 years ago, barrels of port wine were transported on square-sailed, flat-bottomed wooden boats called “Rabelos” down the Douro to Vila Nova da Gaia, at the harbour leading into Porto. Today, copies of these vessels are used to take visitors on cruises along the river.

The river cruise concluded the State Visit, and the King and Queen departed from Portugal on Thursday afternoon.

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