Jun 12, 2012 Letters
Where is the National Trust and what exactly is their mission? I ask these questions because it has become very apparent that nothing of historic value in Guyana is worth saving. Nothing is sacred, nothing is worthy of preservation for future generations, and the current regime seems content to sit idly by as our history is destroyed through neglect or the wrecking ball.
My present disgust comes from seeing the picture in your newspaper of the New Amsterdam Town Hall tower being dismantled. Purportedly this had to be done because the tower was structurally unstable. What a shame! This type of insensitivity to the historic and cultural monuments that are at the heart of who we are as a people is almost criminal.
In no other country in the world would iconic buildings of great architectural value be neglected and destroyed without some effort being made to preserve them for posterity. When the great Cesar Castellani’s masterpiece (the New Amsterdam Hospital) was destroyed there were many voices raised and many questions asked. I would like with your permission to ask some of those questions again.
What are the criteria if any, for a building to be put on the national register for preservation? Why do we wait for structures like the New Amsterdam Town Hall, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts and Saint Georges Cathedral to start falling apart before “half-hearted” attempts are made to fix them?
Many cities around the world are known for their distinctive skylines, their unique and iconic architectural wonders, and they go to great lengths to preserve and protect them as national treasures. Unfortunately, no one seems to care in Guyana. No one seems to think that far ahead, and our government behaves like a bunch of short-timers with utter contempt for historic and cultural values. What a shame!
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