Friday, December 10, 2004

Saving History: A Fight Against Time, Indifference

December 10, 2004

By Uri Ridelman
Special To The Tico Times

On Aug. 2, 2002, the people of Cartago were astounded to find out that the house where part of the family of Ricardo Jiménez Oreamuno (three-time President of Costa Rica) used to live was reduced to rubbish.

This wooden Victorian house was a landmark in the former capital of Costa Rica , not only because of its rich history, but because of its architectural design.

Unfortunately its owners didn't seem to care, and before the house could be officially declared architectural and cultural patrimony of Costa Rica by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCJD), they decided to tear it down.

Ileana Vives, an architect working for the Center of Research and Conservation of Cultural Patrimony (which belongs to the MCJD), said that when the owners found out the house was under study to be declared national patrimony, they decided to demolish it.

“The problem is that if a private building has not yet been declared national patrimony and its owner decides to tear it down, there's nothing we can do,” Vives said, “no matter how valuable or important it might be.”

To read the whole article click here.

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