About this object


Surmounted by world leaders and President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, humbly beseeching financial aid, Zé Povinho (representing the Portuguese people) carries the heavy cross of debt repayment. In the lower part, representatives of the International Monetary Fund and European Bank meet government representatives in hell to discuss Portugal’s economic woes.

Iconographic meaning

One of three plaques (2956/95-96; 3105/3) made by Francisco and Manuel Esteves Lima (the Mistério brothers), that documents the growing economic and social crisis that has afflicted Portugal since 2008.

Physical description

Three dimensional ceramic plaque, or panel, representing a scene of political satire. Plaque has eighteen political figures arranged around a devil with a silver pitchfork in the center. Six other figures are arranged in the centre portion around the devil figure, one above the devil holds a black cross. Eight figures are seated around the white, raised outer edge of the panel. Parts b-i attach to the top of the panel: they are three standing figures, each holding a flag (China, United States, Germany), and one kneeling figure holding a Portuguese flag. The central panel background is red and yellow. There is writing on the surface beside each figure.