Los elegidos de la World Monuments Fund en Argentina
La World Monuments Fund incluyó tres sitios argentinos dentro de la lista de 100 sitios culturales en riesgo alrededor del mundo.
Este listado se realiza cada 2 años desde 1996 con el objetivo de llamar la atención internacional sobre patrimonio cultural que está en riesgo por las fuerzas de la naturaleza y el impacto de cambios sociales, políticos y económicos. Está ONG internacional ya había incluido a el Centro Historico de Buenos Aires y al Teatro Colon dentro de la misma lista durante el año 2010. En está oportunidad los elegidos son: la Ciudad de La Plata, la Casa sobre el Arroyo del Arq. Amancio Williams y Pucará de Tilcara, un sitio arqueológico localizado en la Quebrada de Humahuaca.
Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
“The Casa sobre el Arroyo in Mar del Plata is one of the most celebrated works of modern architect Amancio Williams (1913–1989), and one of few built during his lifetime. Williams designed this house in the early 1940s for his father, Alberto Williams, a well known composer and conductor. He took on this project only a few years after graduating from the University of Buenos Aires and in collaboration with his wife, Delfina Galvez. A thin concrete arch straddling a stream supports a flat concrete slab, which contains the main level of the house. Horizontal ribbon windows wrap around all four sides of the house, which originally contained a wood-paneled interior. Williams was one of the protagonists of modernism in Latin America, and his work, including the Casa sobre el Arroyo, has exerted great influence on recent generations of architects in Argentina.
After Alberto Williams’s death the house changed hands, and it was later used as the headquarters of a local radio station. An ownership dispute has led to abandonment and prolonged neglect since the early 1990s. The house has recently suffered from vandalism, and in 2004 a fire destroyed much of the interior. Meanwhile, a plan to expropriate the house to ensure its conservation has faced many obstacles. Many concerned citizens of Mar del Plata have now signed on to the cause of preserving this modern monument in its original landscape, and are seeking the support of the municipality and the Province of Buenos Aires.”
La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
“Founded in 1882, incorporating a pre-existing urban layout, La Plata is the administrative, political, and judiciary center of the province of Buenos Aires. It is the seat of the Supreme Court and the provincial legislature, as well as home to the Universidad Nacional de La Plata and the Museo de Ciencias Naturales, two leading education and research centers in the Americas. Designed according to City Beautiful and rationalist precepts, the urban grid is intersected by two main diagonal avenues that merge at the town square where the Municipal Building and Cathedral are located. The abundance of open space is evident on the wide tree-lined sidewalks, compact blocks with green cores, and the smaller plazas located every six blocks. La Plata’s architecture is representative of the city’s immigrant history and diversity, with styles mingling German baroque, French Art Nouveau, Italian Renaissance, and Spanish colonial.
Changes to local urban policy, insufficient preservation ordinances, and development pressures endanger not only important buildings, but also the historic scale and layout of the urban landscape. Inclusion in the 2012 Watch will help raise awareness of the threat to La Plata’s built heritage and city plan, and give voice to community concerns.”
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy, Argentina
“Pucará de Tilcara is an archaeological site located in the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a narrow mountain valley in northwest Argentina. The settlement was built on a small hill overlooking the Río Grande de Jujuy, with steep sides and a gently sloping summit. It is thought to have been first occupied in the tenth century A.D. During the fifteenth century, the expansion of the powerful Inca Empire into this region resulted in significant cross-cultural exchange. The Spanish arrived in the valley in 1536, but did not gain control of the area, which included the route to the important silver-mining town of Potosí to the north, until 1595. The settlement was later abandoned and looted for building materials.
Archaeological excavations began at the site in 1908, by the pioneering Argentine archaeologists Juan Bautista Ambrosetti (1865–1917) and his student, Salvador Debenedetti (1884–1930). A monument to Ambrosetti and Debenedetti was built at the site in 1935. Fieldwork by generations of archaeologists has continued through the twentieth century, and this history of excavation demonstrates the evolution of standards in the field. In the 1950s, for instance, many structures were reconstructed to prepare the site for visitors, once common practice around the world that has given way to different approaches to site interpretation today that rely far less on recreating missing elements.
Today, Pucará de Tilcara is part of the Quebrada de Humahuaca World Heritage Site, and receives more than 100,000 visitors every year. The site, however, lacks controlled circulation routes, which makes the masonry ruins vulnerable to physical deterioration. Soil erosion, which can lead to landslides, presents another problem for this hilly site. And in the past, the site has suffered from inadequate care for the conservation of ruins after excavation. The proposed drafting of a new management plan, and expert technical assistance, has the potential to serve as a model for other sites in the region.”
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