The Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) intends to classify Livraria Lello e Irmão, in Porto, as a national monument, with a public discussion period for 30 working days, according to an announcement published in Diário da República (DR).
According to the publication in DR, the director-general of Cultural Heritage, João Carlos dos Santos, refers to the intention of the DGPC to propose to the tutelage the reclassification of Livraria Lello “as a monument of national interest, being assigned the designation of 'monument national'".
Lello has been classified as a monument of public interest since September 20, 2013.
The intention to reclassify the bookstore follows an opinion from the Section for Architectural and Archeological Heritage of the National Council of Culture, which was agreed by the director of the DGPC.
Lello, located in the Historic Center of Porto, close to the Torre dos Clérigos, presents itself as "one of the most important buildings of Portuguese eclectic architecture, integrating joinery and stained glass windows without parallel in the country", being "an highlight of the city”, says the DGPC on its website.
“To its architectural and artistic value is added the cultural importance it has assumed continuously over time, as well as its excellent state of conservation, the authenticity and exemplarity of the structure and decoration, and the well-deserved international fame it enjoys” , adds the DGPC.
Inaugurated in 1906, the establishment “has one of the oldest and most prestigious national publishing houses in its monumental building”, reads the bookstore's historic-artistic note.
The building was designed according to a project by engineer Xavier Esteves, and “the neo-Gothic façade is torn, on the ground floor, by a large Tudor arch, encompassing the central door and the side windows".
Inside, “the ogival arches are supported by carved pillars with busts of writers such as Antero de Quental, Eça de Queiroz, Camilo Castelo Branco, Teófilo Braga, Tomás Ribeiro and Guerra Junqueiro, under lace canopies”.
“The large revivalist stained glass window with the house’s motto, Decus in Labore (Dignity at Work), the skylight, the splendid ceilings in gilded stucco and the magnificent woodwork, well represented by the wooden handrail of the imposing staircase, constitute the decorative elements most emblematic of the bookstore”, concludes the DGPC.
The store has more recently become a popular tourist destination due to it being cited as inspiration for JK Rowling in the creation of her Harry Potter book collection.