An 800m² mural by artist Eduardo Kobra, focusing on five Santos icons (the Coffee museum, the streetcars, Pelé and the port, depicted inside the city’s characteristic low walls), inaugurated on October 23, 2020, illustrates the facade of the Santos Convention Center, the most modern and comprehensive in the city.
With a constructed area of 32,565.81m², the convention Center, officially opened on October 30, 2020, is located beside Avenida Mário Covas, near the ferryboat terminal that links Santos and Guarujá.
The Santos Convention Center comprises a 9000-m² pavilion for fairs and conventions on the ground floor, and 4,500 m² of rooms for conventions and shows, with a capacity for 3,200 people, on the first floor.
The convention and show area boasts a central space, with eight rooms flanking the stage (four on each side). There is also a foyer and four supplementary rooms on the mezzanine floor.
The Santos Convention Center also offers a helipad, covered parking for 400 cars and reflecting pool.
The administration of the new convention center in Santos will be the responsibility of the French multinational GL Events, which was successful in its bid for the City Hall concession to run the space for 24 years.
This company operates in 27 destinations throughout the five continents, where it manages 51 spaces. In Brazil, it is responsible for São Paulo Expo, Riocentro and the Salvador Convention Center. In addition to this, it manages such events as the Rio de Janeiro International Book Fair.
Entitled Coração Santista (Santista Heart), the 800-m² mural is a commemoration by street artist Eduardo Kobra of Pelé’s 80th birthday, celebrated on October 23, 2020, the day on which the artwork was inaugurated.
Producing the work took 60 days, between the artist’s research, the art project and painting, which respects and values the culture and history of Santos. Just over 300 cans of spray paint were used for the work.
Kobra had the help of four people from his team, working behind protective screens so that this surprise for Pelé and the city would not be revealed before the due time.
Coffee Museum Mural
Opened in 1998, the museum is installed inside the historic Coffee Exchange building, inaugurated during the celebrations for the centenary of Brazilian Independence, on September 7 1922, after just two years of construction work. The Exchange, however, had already functioned in the city since 1917.
For more than two decades, the Coffee Exchange was one of the world’s main coffee trading centers. In the 1950s, auctions were transferred to São Paulo and, 20 years later, the building was abandoned and remained closed until 1998, when it re-opened, after extensive restoration work, as the Coffee Museum.
Built in eclectic style, the 6000-m² building, with its 200 doors and windows, functions as a café, offering the best coffee blends – they even have Jacu Bird, a bean produced in Espírito Santo, and one of the most interesting and expensive in the world.
Santos has the only International Living Streetcar Museum in Latin America, with electric vehicles dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, from Scotland, Portugal, Italy and Japan.
Departing from Valongo Station – constructed in 1867 for the first São Paulo railroad – the streetcar ride takes in all the main heritage sights of the Historic Center, complete with tourist guide.
The drivers and conductors of the Tourist Streetcar Line wear replicas of the original uniform from the time when the streetcars were the city’s main means of transport. Eduardo Kobra’s work highlights conductor Welcio Francelino da Costa, who has been a member of the team since the inauguration of the Streetcar Tourist Line in 2000.
The image chosen by Eduardo Kobra reproduces one of the best-known photos in the world and is considered a work of art. It is a scene captured by photographer Luiz Paulo Machado, a freelancer for Placar magazine at the time, during the friendly benefit game when Brazil was beaten by Flamengo 0-2.
The game was held on October 6, 1976 in memory of the crack Flamengo player Geraldo Cleofas Dias Alves, known as Geraldo Assoviador, who died at the age of 22.
The photo was published for the first time in edition 389 of Placar, in October 1977, on the occasion of Pelé’s official retirement from football, when the King was playing for Cosmos. This edition contained the ‘Historic Document: 22 years of Pelé’, a special color supplement, whose cover carried the picture taken by Luiz Paulo Machado.
Responsible for the handling of around 30% of all Brazilian trade, the biggest port complex in Latin America, with a floor area totaling 7.8 million m2, the Port of Santos is the biggest sugar, orange juice and coffee bean exporter in the world. It also stands out in the exportation of soya, corn, ethanol, cars and industrialized products in general.
The Port of Santos was the first organized port in the country. With rudimentary facilities, it began its activities at the beginning of the 16th century and, in February 1892, the first 260 meters of constructed docks were inaugurated
The almost 16km of docks house 66 mooring berths for ships, 11 of which are for private use. The navigation channel, 15 meters deep and 220 meters wide (at its narrowest point) has 55 sea and dockside terminals, located on the two banks – one in the municipality of Santos (right bank) and the other in Guarujá (left bank).
The installations for storing bulk solids can hold 2.5 million tons, and for liquids, the storage capacity is approximately 700,000 m³. Administration of the Port of Santos is by the Santos Port Authority (SPA), attached to the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Works by São Paulo’s Carlos Eduardo Fernandes, known as Kobra, can be found in New York and New Jersey (USA), Moscow (Russia), Blantyre (Malawi), Amsterdam (Holland) and in countless other cities throughout the five continents. Since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he has held record for the world’s biggest street art mural – firstly with the 2,500 m² Etnias (Ethnicities), painted to celebrate the Games, then surpassing his own record in the following year with a 5,724m2 celebration of chocolate, standing by the side of the Castello Branco Highway in the Metropolitan region of São Paulo.
In 1987, at just 12 years old, he began to show his art when dotting the walls of São Paulo with his graffiti. It was the perfection of his drawing that gave him the name cobra (snake), which was then incorporated into his artistic name. Moving from graffiti to street art, in the 1990s he began to paint posters for advertising agencies and soon became a mural artist.
In 2007, he drew attention with the Muro das Memórias (Wall of Memories) project, reproducing old photos of São Paulo on the streets. In 2011 he did his first mural outside Brazil in Lyon (France), having been invited to illustrate a large wall in a neighborhood undergoing restoration work.
Highlights among his works are the mural of Nelson Mandela, painted at the invitation of Madonna, in the children’s hospital that the singer supports in Africa; Ballet Dancer, painted in the vicinity of the Bolshoi Ballet, in Moscow, and Michael Jackson, a work on the corner of East 11th Street and First Avenue, in New York.
Coração Santista (Santista Heart) is the first work by Eduardo Kobra in the Santos Bay area.