It is today a common place, to state that Macau is synonymous of singularity, crossroads, warehouse, emporium, understanding and meeting place, and many other attributes that the end of the Empire has unveiled, from these so far away and until recently, unknown place of the East.

But while we feel the warmth of this so late awareness, we notice, in successive layers, a deep shallowness in the knowledge of the ancestral roots that made this place a special case of History. It is easy to verify with much pain, that the most noble and unequalled product of the attributes already identified before, and which I will not repeat, is the Macanese, a son of this unique Territory who, through the centuries was the real link of communication between the Europeans and the Chinese, the media between two worlds so different and frequently opposed, the mediator of potentially explosive reactions, the first line of absorption in this unending flow of emotions, contradictions, passions and reasons of which Macau is composed.

To speak of António Conceição Júnior in his double quality of man and artist is, before all, to elect the Macanese in itself, to call its essence to the limelight where his work is unveiled, is to pay homage through one of his kind, to the immense creativity, to the militant pragmatism, to the versatility that he employs to communicate through different means.

The Macau City Council, of which I have the highest honor to preside, an Institution that is radically from Macau, had the privilege to count for more then twenty years with the unique contribution of António Conceição Júnior, always in high responsibility places. As Director of the Luis de Camões Museum at first, and later as the highest responsible Director for the Cultural and Recreational Services of the Municipality, this illustrious man had the means to put his competence and high knowledge to the service of his fellow citizens, which he always did in the most efficacious manner.

To António Conceição Júnior I wish him all personal and professional happiness while acknowledging with the highest esteem the role he has played in this Herculean task of deepening our own identity, in not allowing others to do it for us, or dare think they are, this search that we must demand from ourselves.

To my friend, may he remain a Macanese, as always.

José Luís de Sales Marques
Mayor of Macau
1997