The announcement was made at the National Palace of Ajuda, where the ministry is based, at an event to present six of the 21 works by 20 Portuguese artists that were last year selected for purchase by an expert committee.

They include works by Vasco Araújo, Filipa César, Alexandre Estrela, Von Calhau, Patrícia Almeida, João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, as well as António Júlio Duarte, António Bolota, Carla Filipe, Dayana Lucas, Paulo Mendes, Fernando Brito, Gonçalo Pena, João Jacinto, Miguel Soares, Isabel Carvalho, Pedro Tudela, Silvestre Pestana and Pedro Neves Marques.

As part of the new strategy to invest in, promote and disseminate contemporary art from Portugal, the minister said, the government will step up purchases to €500,000 this year from €300,000 last.

In addition, private companies that take part in the Revive programme – which opens up vacant public property to private investment - will also be able to submit proposals for the acquisition of contemporary art.

Works acquired will enter the State Contemporary Art Collection of (formerly known as the Collection of the Secretariat of State for Culture) and "a real circulation” of them for exhibition nationwide will be organised, the minister stressed.