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Subject: Monuments of Santo Domingo

Monuments of Santo Domingo

From: Hilda Abreu Utermohlen <hilda>
Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2000
The city of Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic is in
the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, which was discovered by
Columbus during his first voyage to America in 1492. It was from
Santo Domingo that many expeditions were organized to explore the
main lands of the American continent. As testimony from those days,
in the historic center of the city (also called the Colonial Zone)
there is a unique concentration of monuments and sites, dating as
early as the 16th century, many of which are first of their kind in
America, including the first Cathedral. For this reason, the
Colonial Zone was declared by UNESCO as World Cultural Patrimony.

During the past 30 years most of these monuments and sites have been
restored. Last month the Secretary of Tourism, the Office of
Cultural Patrimony and the Commission of Monuments (all government
institutions) announced that some of them will be available for
lease, to install restaurants and other places for tourism, "to
activate the economy, help in their preservation, and to give them a
better use than they have now". The reaction from different sectors
of the community was immediate, having found opposition from our
Cardinal, the local committee of ICOMOS, and the press, among

In response to this, the government announced today that the lease
will be postponed until public hearings are held in February.
Therefore, I would like to hear from anyone who has an opinion on
the issue, or experience with similar situations, or who can direct
me to any literature that talks about it. Has this been done in
other places? Any comments, suggestions are welcome.

Hilda Abreu Utermohlen

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:41
                Distributed: Thursday, January 27, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-41-013
Received on Wednesday, 19 January, 2000

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