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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Portugal to open major art museum
Andy Warhol's Liz
Works by Andy Warhol feature in Berardo's collection
A major new museum of modern art is to open in Portugal after the government signed a deal with a billionaire business tycoon and art collector.

Works belonging to Jose Berardo, which include pieces by Piscasso, Dali and Warhol, will go on display in Lisbon's Belem Cultural Centre.

"I'd like to make this one of the great museums of the world," said Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

Berardo threatened to relocate the collection to France last year.

New pieces

The Maderian-born businessman, who made his fortune in mining, was also reportedly offered sites in Italy and Miami for his artworks.

The agreement to house the 4,000-piece collection in Portugal will give the government first refusal to purchase it.

Berardo and the Portuguese authorities will each contribute 500,000 euros (349,224) per year towards acquiring new pieces for the museum.

The two sides have been discussing housing the collection in Portugal for a decade.

Some of it is at various sites across the country while other items are in storage.

The Portuguese say the museum will be one of the most important in the world because it features pieces from all of the modern era's artistic movements.

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