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At a moment of despair and uncertainty in the face of world war and economic crises, António Oliveira Salazar countered by launching a major exposition: the Exposition of the Portuguese-Speaking World. Opening in 1940, the exposition celebrated a double centenary — Portugal’s founding in 1140 and independence from the Spanish Crown in 1640. Several million visitors attended the site in Lisbon between June 23 and December 2. The design and buildings resulted in the renovation of national monuments, reopening of theaters, and the reorganization of public spaces, such as the plazas in the outlying section of Belém, adjacent to the famous Jerónimos Monastery. The effort was lead by engineer Duarte Pacheco and architect Cottinelli Telmo under the careful direction of the secretary of the national propaganda, António Ferro and, of course, Salazar.